Malaysia-China relations not affected by WSJ claims | Malaysia
Malaysia-China relations not affected by WSJ claims | Malaysia
Malaysia to scrutinise China contracts after report of inflated deals struck to cover 1MDB debt
09 January, 2019, 23:40
"The Chinese side is committed to working together with the Pakatan Harapan government under the leadership of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) towards creating a brighter future for China-Malaysia relations", it said.
A series of meetings organised by the Journal have revealed that Chinese officials told Malaysian counterparts that China would try to deter corruption probes by the United States and others into the so-called 1MDB fund, if Malaysia agreed to grant China deals as part of its Belt and Road Initiative.
Slamming the report, Low said it was journalistic responsibility of the WSJ to have approached such claims with scepticism and suspicion, and that it was unfortunate that these baseless political accusations were passed off as legitimate reporting.
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and the Chinese Embassy of Malaysia have both denied the claims.
The Chinese also allegedly offered to bug the homes and offices of Wall Street Journal reporters in Hong Kong who were investigating 1MDB to find out who was passing information to them, the paper said.
"China never attaches political conditions on our cooperation with other countries".
The Malaysian government will scrutinise bilateral deals made with China under the previous government, finance minister Lim Guan Eng said on Tuesday (Jan 8).
Malaysia's new government has said it is seeking up to US$7.5 billion in reparations from Goldman Sachs over its dealings with 1MDB.
Ng has been detained in Kuala Lumpur since November 1, shortly after the U.S. Department of Justice announced charges against him, another Goldman Sachs official Tim Leissner, and Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho over the alleged theft of billions of dollars from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The WSJ report had alleged that China offered to use its influence to help resolve the 1MDB issue in exchange of securing lucrative projects, like the US$16 billion (RM65.8 million) East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and the US$2.5 billion (RM10.3 billion) Trans Sabah Gas Pipeline projects. He has denied wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
"But I have to refer back to see if there are details or thing explicitly said", he said.
The Najib administration was said to have inflated the value of the projects to divert money to 1MDB, which was struggling to pay its debts.
The US State Department alleges that US$4.5 billion was looted from the fund by Najib and his cronies, and spent on everything from artwork to high-end real estate. The new administration has paused more than $20bn worth of projects awarded to Chinese firms, pending review.
China has described a report accusing the Chinese government of trying to influence the investigation into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal as being "groundless".
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