PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak has furnished evidence to back his claims that the RM2.6 billion donation he received in his personal account was returned to King Abdullah four months after receiving it.
In a Facebook post accompanied by photographs of banking documents and a letter from Saudi Arabia, Najib said he received the money a month before the 13th general election and that he asked King Abdullah for “contingency funds” for the election as he was worried of attempts to buy over Barisan Nasional representatives to join the then Pakatan Rakyat.
“I decided against asking for funds from local tycoons as done by the country’s fourth prime minister because they would ask for projects of a higher value in return. I don’t agree with cronyism.”
He said Prince Abdulaziz Al-Saud wrote to him on March 1, 2013, to inform him that US$800 million would be channelled to him in stages, though the amount he received was only US$681 million.
He added that as then Umno president, it was his duty to source for party funds and manage them, and that although the money went into his personal account, they were for political activities.
But after not seeing any signs of defections post-GE13, Najib said he made the decision to return the money as he no longer needed it and noted the difference in amount returned, some US$61 million, was due to a 10% drop in exchange rates.
“The bottom line is that I didn’t keep the RM2.6 billion.
“If someone wanted to siphon money they wouldn’t keep it in their personal bank account and we know it is not from 1MDB funds which were sourced from borrowings.”
Borrowed money, he said, must be repaid and that if it was siphoned there would be problems in repayment.
“Actually, Pakatan Harapan leaders know this but don’t want to admit that I didn’t keep the RM2.6 billion to buy rings and diamonds.
“But this is the perception they created among the people, as if I stole billions, and many were influenced.”
Najib said he was only revealing the documents now as the late King Abdullah had asked him not to publicise the donation.
“But my main concern then was whether I, as prime minister, should reveal to the world that there were attempts to buy over MPs.”