1MDB scandal: China denies it offered to bail out Malaysian fund

1MDB scandal: China denies it offered to bail out Malaysian fund

In a statement in response to the Journal report, the Chinese embassy in Kuala Lumpur said China never attached political conditions to its cooperation with other countries.

The documents reportedly show that "Chinese officials told visiting Malaysians that China would use its influence to try to get the USA and other countries to drop their probes of allegations that allies of then-Prime Minister Najib Razak and others plundered the fund known as 1MDB".

The WSJ report by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope - the authors of Billion Dollar Whale - had cited previously undisclosed minutes from meetings between Malaysian and Chinese officials as well as sources from the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration for China.

Dismissing the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report, the Chinese Embassy in Malaysia said Beijing adhered to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of another country all along.

But that's not all: Chinese-funded infrastructure projects were reportedly planned in Malaysia at "above market profitability", with the excess funds created intended partly to "settle the 1MDB debts".

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the government would study the allegations made in the WSJ report.

"If there is anything that explicitly states this in black and white, we will pursue the case", he was cited as saying.

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In 2015, it was reported that $681 million of funds originating with 1MDB - formally 1Malaysia Development Bhd. - went to Mr. Najib's personal bank accounts, masterminded by an alleged playboy conman named Jho Low.

According to the Journal, Low, who is accused of laundering money through real estate in NY and Los Angeles, is hiding in China.

New Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who came out of retirement to oust former protege Najib amid public anger over 1MDB, has shelved $22 billion worth of Chinese projects.

China supported Najib in the last elections, with the ambassador from Beijing campaigning with candidates from Najib's coalition.

The US Department of Justice has estimated that a total of US$4.5 billion was misappropriated by high-level 1MDB fund officials and their associates.

It also reported clandestine talks between Najib and Chinese officials to allow naval ships from China to dock at Malaysian ports when BN was in power. He has pleaded not guilty and has consistently denied wrongdoing.

The factors are the Malaysian government's review of various infrastructure projects undertaken by Chinese companies and China's tighter currency control measures.

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