Did Malaysia's PM Spend Public Money on Anti-Ageing, Renovations?

Did Malaysia's PM Spend Public Money on Anti-Ageing, Renovations?
Photo Credit: AP / 達志影像

What you need to know

Despite repeated denials by the Malaysian prime minister that he has abused public funds for personal gain, fresh allegations have come to light that may further muddy the waters.

Funds diverted from former 1MDB subsidiary SRC International have allegedly been used to pay for beauty products and home renovations, Sarawak Report claims.

The whistleblower, in a statement, said it had obtained leaked documents of the Malaysian investigations into 1MDB, proving these allegations.

It claimed that the alleged expenses in February 2015, including RM1.15 million (US$283,000) for what it believed to be anti-aging growth hormones, were made by a high ranking individual purportedly identified in the documents as "B1," and his wife.

The anti-ageing product was allegedly purchased at US$159,000 each.

"Sarawak Report has not succeeded in tracking on the open market any product that begins to cost as much as US$159,000 each — yet at contemporary exchange rates the price tag described appears to match the RM1,154,000 on the cheque," it said in the statement.

Besides this, Sarawak Report also claimed that SRC funds were also used for building works, including RM100,000 that was used to construct a police guardroom and amenities at B1's Kuala Lumpur residence.

Malaysiakini can't independently verify the claims made by Sarawak Report, and is attempting to get a response from the MACC.

Previously, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had admitted that RM42 million of SRC money had ended up in his personal accounts.

Attorney-general Mohamad Apandi Ali however cleared the premier of any wrongdoing, saying Najib had no knowledge, nor was he informed, that funds from SRC were transferred to him.

According to previous exposes by the Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report, RM50 million was transferred from SRC to its subsidiary Gandingan Mentari, which in turn channelled the sum to another subsidiary Ihsan Perdana.

From this, RM42 million was transferred to the prime minister's accounts.

Najib has repeatedly denied abusing public funds for personal gain, and accused those behind the allegations of conspiring to topple him.

The News Lens has been authorized to repost this article. The piece was first published on Malaysiakini.

(Launched on November 20th, 1999, Malaysiakini.com offers daily news and views in English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil.)

First Editor: Edward White
Second Editor: J. Michael Cole