Malaysia sul­tans ex­press con­cern over scan­dal

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

Malaysia’s nine state sul­tans have is­sued a rare joint state­ment ex­press­ing con­cern over a cor­rup­tion scan­dal swirling around Prime Min­is­ter Na­jib Razak and call­ing for a swift and trans­par­ent in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The state­ment is­sued late Tues­day ahead of a two-day an­nual royal con­fer­ence adds to mount­ing pres­sure on Na­jib, who is fac­ing calls to ex­plain huge miss­ing sums at a state-owned com­pany he founded as well as nearly US$700 mil­lion in mys­te­ri­ous trans­fers to his per­sonal bank ac­counts.

The revered sul­tans called for stalled Malaysian in­ves­ti­ga­tions to be re­vived and “ap­pro­pri­ate stern ac­tion” taken.

“The find­ings of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion must be re­ported com­pre­hen­sively and in a trans­par­ent man­ner so that the peo­ple will be con­vinced of the sin­cer­ity of the gov­ern­ment, which shall not at all con­ceal facts and the truth,” the of­fi­cial Ber­nama news agency quoted the royal state­ment say­ing.

Do­mes­tic in­ves­ti­ga­tions have been es­sen­tially shut down since Au­gust af­ter Na­jib re­placed his at­tor­ney gen­eral and oth­ers scru­ti­niz­ing the af­fair.

But probes into al­leged money flows across the globe have re­port­edly been launched by author­i­ties in the United States, Switzer­land, Sin­ga­pore and else­where.

“The fail­ure to give con­vinc­ing clar­i­fi­ca­tions and an­swers is feared to have re­sulted in a cri­sis of con­fi­dence,” the sul­tans’ state­ment said, re­fer­ring to a plunge in the value of the ring­git cur­rency and other mar­ket tur­moil blamed in part on the scan­dal.

A par­lia­men­tary democ­racy, Malaysia has a unique sys­tem in which Is­lamic sul­tans serve as the cer­e­mo­nial heads of nine of the coun­try’s 13 states, al­ter­nat­ing as the na­tion’s fig­ure­head king ev­ery five years.

The sul­tans have no for­mal power, rarely dab­ble in pol­i­tics, and their procla­ma­tions are not bind­ing.

But the cen­turies- old royal fam­i­lies are ac­corded great re­spect as sym­bols of Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity Malaysia’s her­itage and guardians of the Is­lamic faith in the coun­try, and the state­ment is likely to add to pres­sure on Na­jib.

They opened their yearly Con­fer­ence of Rulers on Wed­nes­day.

Na­jib, 62, has faced grow­ing calls to re­sign over claims that huge sums of money had been sy­phoned off from state-owned de­vel­op­ment com­pany 1Malaysia De­vel­op­ment Ber­had (1MDB), and the rev­e­la­tion in July of money trans­fers to his bank ac­count.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.