KUALA LUMPUR – March 30, 2016: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in a report has corroborated that the RM2.6 billion donation, paid into the bank account of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was indeed from the Saudi Arabian royal family.
According to the report, which was supposed to further expose allegations of corruption by Najib, the prime minister had received remittance between 2011 and 2013 from the Saudi Arabian finance ministry and two men identified as princes from the country.
The ABC, through its investigative program Four Corners, reported that deposits recorded by AmBank shown that several payments were coming from Prince Faisal bin Turkey bin Bandar Al-Saud of Riyadh.
It also reported that at times, the deposits were accompanied by letters purportedly from Prince Saud Abdulaziz Al-Saud, pledging gifts to Najib.
According to the ABC report, the prince had further pledged a grant of $US375mil to Najib as “a token gesture on the royals’ part as contribution to the development of Islam to the world”.
The Australian media corporation had reproduced a screen grab of the letter, issued as “a gesture of good faith and for clarification”.
“I do not expect to receive any personal benefit whether directly or indirectly as a result of the gift.
“The gift should not in any event be construed as an act of corruption since this is against the practice of Islam and I personally do not encourage such practices in any manner whatsoever,” the prince wrote.
Prominent journalist blogger Datuk Ahirudin Attan in a posting wrote that the ABC’s report had essentially confirmed the source of the donation.
“Well, I think the ABC’s latest program was meant to be an expose intended to keep the RM2.6bil controversy alive.
“Whether they realised it or not, it has actually confirmed the Malaysian government’s official line all along with regards to the source of the donation; that it did not come from 1Malaysia Development Berhad and that it was a donation from the Middle East”.
Another blogger, Gopal Raj Kumar in a posting criticised the Four Corners program for the broadcasting of “allegations of corruption” featuring the “alleged sins of the PM”.
The blogger had also disapproved the appearance of Sarawak Report founder Clare Rewcastle Brown at the program, last Monday.
“It is obvious that Clare was responsible for underwriting the narrative to the allegations of ‘corruption’ featuring Najib.
“Tonight’s program was disappointing to most viewers for its rehash of old stories, running wild and unabated since 2008, including the donation issue,” the blogger wrote.