KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Monday (Sep 10) released documents to support his claim that the controversial RM2.6 billion (US$607 million) deposited into his personal bank account was a donation from Saudi royalty.
The donation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal in July 2015, when it reported that investigators probing 1MDB had found that RM2.6 billion had been transferred directly to the prime minister's bank accounts.
Najib posted scanned documents on Facebook on Monday that show a US$80 million transaction from Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance and another US$20 million from one Prince Faisal Turkey Al-Saud.
Among the documents was also a letter from Saudi Prince Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, which mentions a "gift" of US$100 million.
“In view of the friendship that we have developed over the years and your new ideas as a modern Islamic leader, I hereby grant you a sum of United States Dollars One Hundred Million (USD100,000,000) Only (“Gift”) which shall be remitted to you at such times and in such manner as I deem fit,” wrote the prince.
"The Gift should not in any event be construed as an act of corruption since this is against the practice of Islam and I personally do not encourage such practices in any manner whatsoever,” added the prince in the letter, which was dated Feb 1, 2011.
Najib explained that the donation was made after the Arab Spring, which was a series of anti-government protests across the Middle East that started in late 2010.
"The late King Abdullah was very concerned at that time and acted to fund leaders and Muslim governments in order to ensure stability," Najib said, adding that the king was also worried about the possibility of a "Malaysian Spring".
"Since I am no longer prime minister and King Abdullah has passed on, I think it is appropriate for me to disclose the following documents to clear my name from various accusations and slander," Najib said.
The former leader also said that most of the money were used for the Barisan Nasional party. This included the purchase of vans for UMNO Johor, he said.
Najib added that he would reveal more details and evidence of the funds in the future.
Najib is facing criminal breach of trust and abuse of power charges related to funds from SRC International, a subsidiary of 1MDB.