Malaysia PM removes deputy, shakes up Cabinet amid 1MDB scandal

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Najib Razak with Muhyiddin Yassin

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced changes to his cabinet on July 28, including replacing his deputy, amid an investigation into troubled state-owned investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd, or 1MDB.

Razak appointed Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as new deputy to replace Muhyiddin Yassin, and dropped four other ministers and a deputy minister, citing “political consideration” and “administrative interest,” according to a statement from his office.

The shuffle is meant to “strengthen the cabinet lineup to face challenges” before the next national elections, the premier said.

State news agency Bernama also reported that the premier terminated Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail, who was involved in investigations into corruption allegations related to the Najib-linked company.

There are four official Malaysian government investigations into the fund’s activities. Razak hasn’t officially been accused of wrongdoing, and a government spokesman has said his opponents are trying to smear him. Razak founded the fund and heads its board of advisers.

However, the investigation has intensified pressure on the prime minister to resign, even as support for him appears strong among the United Malays National Organisation, the bedrock of a coalition that has ruled Malaysia since 1957.

Razak said that he suspects former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to be behind the allegations, who, as a response, said that “there’s no conspiracy, I have openly asked Najib to go.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Investigators found nearly $700 million had been deposited in Razak’s personal bank accounts from agencies, banks and companies linked to 1MDB.

Singapore police said last week they had frozen two bank accounts at a Swiss bank branch in the city state as part of an investigation into 1MDB scandal. Earlier in July, Malaysian authorities froze six bank accounts in connection with the alleged fund transfers.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Reading Time: 1 minute

Najib Razak with Muhyiddin Yassin

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced changes to his cabinet on July 28, including replacing his deputy, amid an investigation into troubled state-owned investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd, or 1MDB.

Razak appointed Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as new deputy to replace Muhyiddin Yassin, and dropped four other ministers and a deputy minister, citing “political consideration” and “administrative interest,” according to a statement from his office.

The shuffle is meant to “strengthen the cabinet lineup to face challenges” before the next national elections, the premier said.

State news agency Bernama also reported that the premier terminated Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail, who was involved in investigations into corruption allegations related to the Najib-linked company.

There are four official Malaysian government investigations into the fund’s activities. Razak hasn’t officially been accused of wrongdoing, and a government spokesman has said his opponents are trying to smear him. Razak founded the fund and heads its board of advisers.

However, the investigation has intensified pressure on the prime minister to resign, even as support for him appears strong among the United Malays National Organisation, the bedrock of a coalition that has ruled Malaysia since 1957.

Razak said that he suspects former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to be behind the allegations, who, as a response, said that “there’s no conspiracy, I have openly asked Najib to go.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Investigators found nearly $700 million had been deposited in Razak’s personal bank accounts from agencies, banks and companies linked to 1MDB.

Singapore police said last week they had frozen two bank accounts at a Swiss bank branch in the city state as part of an investigation into 1MDB scandal. Earlier in July, Malaysian authorities froze six bank accounts in connection with the alleged fund transfers.

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