Malaysia Dateline

The Najib governments propaganda chief Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi claims that the prime minister informed Umno leaders and Bank Negara about the RM2.6 billion 'donation'.

Puad told to verify claim about RM2.6b during Aussie ‘veracity tour’

DAP leader Lim Kit Siang today questioned a claim by the government’s propaganda director that prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had admitted receiving the RM2.6 billion “donation” as soon as it was reported by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Lim said the claim by Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi, who heads the Department of Special Affairs (Jasa), made during a programme with Malay students in Canberra, Australia, contradicted statements from Umno leaders that they were not informed about the amount.

He also cited a statement today by tourism minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz who said Najib did not inform the Umno Supreme Council about the money because “he didn’t have to tell us”.

Puad had also claimed that Najib discussed the matter with then Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Zati Akhtar Aziz.

“Was Puad telling a lie or is Nazri’s version correct, that Najib never told UMNO leaders about the source of the RM2.6 billion ‘donation’?” asked Lim in a statement.

“Puad should speak up – was he telling the truth or a lie in his ‘Veracity Tour’ to visit Malay students in Australia?”

Lim urged Puad to come clean on his tour and to list “the countries and cities he had visited and when, the total expenses incurred, and the real motive and outcome for such ‘Veracity Tours’.”

WSJ had on July 2 published a report citing Malaysian investigators that nearly US$700 million had flowed from 1MDB-linked firms into Najib’s personal bank accounts.

Najib, who has yet to initiate legal action against WSJ despite denying the report, has maintained that the money was a donation from the Saudi royal family.