WSJ report

On 2 July, the Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report published articles that directly linked Prime Minister DS Najib Razak’s personal bank account to transactions of USD700 million (RM2.6 billion) of 1MDB funds.

In the aftermath of the publications, how has Malaysia reacted? Here’s a timeline of the past week:

3 July – The Prime Minister publishes a statement via his Facebook page denying that he took any funds “for personal gain”. He also accuses former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir of creating a crisis with his attacks.

4 July – Youth and Sports Minister YB Khairy Jamaluddin backs PM’s decision to take legal action against the Wall Street Journal. 

7 July – Malaysian authorities order six bank accounts to be frozen. However, it’s later reported that these are not the same bank accounts whose details were released by Wall Street Journal.

7 July – Malaysian Home Minister DS Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says an emergency meeting to discuss the Wall Street Journal’s exposé will only threaten the country’s political stability.

7 July – The Wall Street Journal publishes the documents that were used as the basis for its report on the financial transactions.

8 July – The Prime Minister accuses the Wall Street Journal of intending to “incite malice” with the support of “certain quarters from this country whose aim is to make me step down as Prime Minister and UMNO President.”

8 July PKR moves to file a civil suit to nullify BN’s GE13 win over WSJ expose, because some of the money was transferred in the lead-up to the general election in 2013.

8 July   Netizens draw attention to a survey, apparently released by Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia, attempting to gauge public reactions to the Wall Street Journal report.

8 July Malaysian police move to probe the Wall Street Journal under Computer Crimes Act for publishing the banking documents.

8 July – An UMNO Supreme Councillor says that the allegations are an attempt to attack Muslims.

8 July  A special task force carries out a raid on 1MDB’s office in Menara IMC. The Finance Ministry states that it had co-operated fully with the search.

8 July  Monetary Authority of Singapore has announced that it will provide assistance to Malaysia “and share information where it is legally able to.” One of the accounts reported to be involved in the transactions is the Singaporean branch of Falcon Private Bank.

8 July  The Prime Minister’s legal team sends a letter to the Wall Street Journal to seek clarification about the allegations made in the article, giving it 14 days to respond. When contacted, Wall Street Journal states that it stands by its report.

9 July  The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) cautions Malaysians against mocking the 1MDB controversy after #1MDBMovies hashtag trended on Twitter.

9 July  Auditor General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang presents the interim audit report on 1MDB to Public Accounts Committee Chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, which is to be reviewed in a close-door meeting.

 Stephanie Boey

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