PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak has widened his social media campaign by facing several “hot questions” in an interview with YouTube personality Apek Cina, who comments on current affairs.
The questions included Najib’s relationship with his wife Rosmah Mansor, a controversy over jewellery and other luxury items amounting to RM3 million, as well as the scandals surrounding 1MDB.
He was also asked about Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who led a campaign against him from 2016, based on the 1MDB scandals, culminating in Najib’s fall from power in last year’s general election.
“I still respect Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a prime minister and a senior. I haven’t forgotten that he has helped me in my career as deputy prime minister,” Najib said.
He said that even though they both held conflicting views, the differences were a matter of politics and not personal.
In the 17-minute-long video, Apek Cina (real name Tai Zee How) asked about the current location of RM3 million in jewellery and other luxury items that Najib was reported to have bought.
“I gave them as gifts to the families of foreign leaders who are close with Malaysia, so I was essentially promoting the relationship between Malaysia and other countries,” Najib said.
He prompted Tai to go ahead and search his house, but he said he has receipts and even letters of thanks from the foreign families.
Asked about his trial on charges of corruption and abuse of power involving funds belonging to 1MDB, Najib said: “I am confident in my integrity and innocence, based on the evidence that has been and will be presented in court. The question is whether the government is ready to accept that I am not guilty.”
Najib would not answer other questions about 1MDB on the grounds that the matter was sub judice (subject to court trial) and not for public discussion.
On the Apek Cina channel on YouTube, which has 14,600 subscribers, Tai has held interviews with political figures, such as MCA president Wee Ka Siong and former Umno Supreme Council member Ahmad Mazlan.
Tai says on his Facebook that he “interprets mainstream news from Chinese newspapers in Malaysia, with certain sarcastic commentaries meant to entertain the viewers”.