A Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report that came out today (8th January 2019) has prompt the government to scrutinise China-linked projects for elements of corruption.
Finance Lim Guan Eng was reported by The Malay Mail to have been not aware about the things that WSJ had alleged in their report about Najib administration working with Beijing on Belt-Road Initiative projects such as East Coast Rail Link to divert funds to 1MDB.
“We knew that the price is inflated, but whether there was such a deal, I have to check. I would be interested to have a copy of those minutes by WSJ,” said Lim.
The WSJ report titled “WSJ Investigation: China Offered to Bail Out Troubled Malaysian Fund in Return for Deals” alleged that there were secret discussions that show how China uses its political and financial clout to bolster its position overseas. According to it, Senior Chinese leaders had offered help to Malaysia’s state-owned 1MDB investment fund in 2016 in the form of bail outs, based on minutes from the meeting that they allegedly have and reviewed.
The allegations include Chinese officials visiting Malaysia and offering their influence to try and get US and other countries to drop probes into then Prime Minister Najib Razak and his allies for plundering funds. In return, China asked for Malaysia to offer stakes in railway and pipeline projects as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Request for comments to the Chinese government were also ignored according to the WSJ report, with another allegation that China had offered to bug homes and offices of Wall Street Journal reporters in Hong Kong who were investigating 1MDB to find out who was leaking information to them.
“I have to refer back to any details explicitly said. If it was said in black and white, then it is something we will pursue,” Lim told a press conference today at the Finance Ministry.
by Bob Tan
8th January 2019 14:55