Strong pressure is escalating on Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak after calls for his immediate resignation over allegations of 1MDB graft scandal.
1MDB (1 Malaysia Development Berhad) is Malaysia’s state-owned investment fund which is wholly owned by the Malaysian government formed in 2009.
The center of the said graft scandal is 1MDB, which was founded and chaired by Najib Razak, to be used in investing properties, infrastructure, and energy projects with the goal of promoting economic development in Asia.
But was allegedly stripped by the Prime Minister, use to purchased luxury properties, works of art valued at $137 million, including a $35 million painting by Claude Monet, and a business jet.
Riza Aziz, Najib’s stepson, was also one of those named in the lawsuit. Aziz is the founder of Red Granite Pictures, which produced the Oscar-nominated movie The Wolf of Wall Street, directed by Martin Scorsese in 2013.
Prosecutors claim that, tens of millions of dollars sidetracked from 1MDB were used to produce the film, and according to the complaint, 11 wire transfers totaling $64 million were used to fund the studio’s operations.
Aziz also reportedly acquired luxury properties in New York, a duplex worth $33.5 million and a Beverly Hills mansion valued more than $17.5 million.
The lawsuits also name Najib’s friend, Low Taek Jho (or Jho Low) the Malaysian financier, and Abu Dhabi government officials Mohamed Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny and Khadem al-Qubaisi.
Lawsuits were filed at the US Justice Department in California.
Former Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad demand Najib’s removal from office, added that, “I suggest the people push for a referendum on the prime minister’s leadership.”
However, the Prime Minister denied all the allegations, on his Facebook page, he accused Mahathir of “political sabotage”.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Apandi, Malaysia’s Attorney-General, issued a statement in support of Najib, saying that there was no evidence that funds were misappropriated from 1MDB and no criminal charges have been made against any individuals.