Human rights group wants royal inquiry into WSJ expose

A Royal Commission of Inquiry must be set up to investigate allegations in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that billions of ringgit were deposited into the prime minister's personal bank accounts, says the Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham). Its chairman, Datuk Kuthubul Zaman, said today the WSJ’s expose was shocking, adding that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should relinquish his duties as finance minister and chairman of 1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB) advisory board as investigations were ongoing. "It is of utmost importance that this matter be treated urgently, thoroughly and with transparency. It must be investigated by a royal commission of inquiry so as to restore public confidence in the office of the prime minister and finance minister," Khutubul said in a statement today. State investment vehicle 1MDB is the spotlight for amassing RM42 billion in debts after just six years since its inception. The WSJ and whistleblower site Sarawak Report revealed that about US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) was allegedly transferred to two bank accounts under Najib's name with AmBank Private Banking in 2013, ahead of the general election in May that year. Najib denied taking any funds from 1MDB for personal gain. He blamed the latest set of allegations on former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whom he also accused of working with foreign agents against his administration. Najib’s second in command, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, has also urged him to provide a convincing explanation to the WSJ report. The deputy prime minister said the allegations were serious and jeopardised Najib's‎ credibility as the prime minister and leader of the Malaysian government. Najib has gone on to say that he intends to sue the WSJ. The daily, however, is standing by its story, saying the expose was based on solid documentation and proof. – July 7, 2015.