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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   4 February  2016  

 Malaysian PM Najib not accused in 1MDB probe: Swiss AG offic

WASHINGTON: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is not among those accused of wrongdoing in an investigation by Switzerland's chief prosecutor into alleged corruption involving the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) sovereign fund, a Swiss official said on Tuesday (Feb 2).

The Swiss Attorney General's office said last Friday that it had identified four cases of alleged criminal misconduct in the suspected misappropriation of about US$4 billion (?2.77 billion) from Malaysian state companies.

Andre Marty, spokesman for the Office of Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber, said in an emailed response to a Reuters query on Tuesday, "In the ongoing criminal proceeding of the OAG (Office of Attorney General), Mr. Najib Razak is not one of the public officials under accusation."

Lauber's office announced last August that it had opened criminal proceedings related to 1MDB, whose advisory board is chaired by Najib.

Late last week, Lauber's office issued a statement in which it said it had formally asked the Attorney General of Malaysia for assistance in Switzerland's investigation.

It said the investigation related to possible bribery of foreign public officials, misconduct in public office, money laundering and criminal mismanagement and that the criminal investigation involved two unnamed "former officials" of 1MDB and "persons unknown."

The statement came days after Malaysia's attorney general cleared Najib of any criminal offences or corruption, declaring that US$681 million (?472 million) deposited into his personal bank account was a gift from Saudi Arabia's Royal Family.

Najib has consistently denied wrongdoing, and said the funds were a political donation and he did not take any money for personal gain.

The Malaysian Attorney General's office said on Saturday that it would take all possible steps to follow up and collaborate with its Swiss counterpart, but said the investigations into donations made to Najib were entirely separate from those into 1MDB.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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