Swiss Seek Quick Talks With Malaysia On 1MDB Investigation

Mahathir Mohamad insisted that he respected the right to freedom of speech but the move is likely to alarm liberals

Mahathir's move to release it comes as he seeks to tighten the net around Najib, whom he defeated in an election last week, and other officials over the multi-billion dollar scandal surrounding the fund's actions dating back some years.

Najib has denied any wrongdoing and said the money was a donation from the Saudi royal family, which he had since returned.

The new prime minister made the announcement as he formally began his work on Monday, receiving his first official visitor - Brunei's leader, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah - and meeting newly appointed government officials. "If there is no case against him, we don't go for detention without trial", Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying in the report.

Abdul Razak Idris - former intelligence and investigations director of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission - lodged reports with the body alleging Najib tried to stop the probe into losses at 1MDB.

Apandi had also halted domestic investigations into the alleged embezzlement.

He said some people were anxious about him taking the "bold" step but added: "I'm already 69 years old".


The government later announced that treasury head Mohamad Irwan Serigar Abdullah, who is also 1MDB's chairman, "will not be allowed to carry out his duties as treasurer general or any matters relating to the finance ministry". The fund was set up by Najib in 2009 to promote economic development but accumulated billions in debts. Mahathir said he can't suspend Apandi until he is investigated. Both police officers said investigators were not primarily interested in the luxury items but were chasing documents that could be vital for investigations into Najib's administration.Kuala Lumpur's police chief and an official police spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.Najib said earlier on Saturday that he was going overseas for a week to rest, but just minutes later the Department of Immigration announced that he and his wife had been barred from leaving the country.

Mahathir also said he welcomed foreign direct investment in Malaysia by China and other countries, but such investment must bring in capital and technology and provide jobs for Malaysians.

In comments to a business conference on Tuesday, Mahathir confirmed the jailed leader will be released on Wednesday but said "I don't know what time".

Both Najib and 1MDB deny any wrongdoing.

The MACC found evidence in late 2015 that RM42mil (S$14.2 million) was transferred from a former subsidiary of 1MDB into an account of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, says a member of the panel that reviewed the case files. United States investigators say some US3.5 billion was misappropriated from the fund.

Malaysia's new prime minister Mahathir Mohamad doesn't intend to immediately step aside once his foe-turned-colleague Anwar Ibrahim is pardoned. Security personnel from the building - which is owned by Desmond Lim, a wealthy Malaysian businessman and supporter of Najib - were cooperative."We are looking for government documents that may have been illegally taken", said a senior police officer, who requested anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to the media. Singapore has punished banks over lapses related to 1MDB, seized assets and jailed bankers over the scandal.

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