Embattled Malaysian PM says he won't resign over financial scandal

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak vowed Thursday that he will not retreat nor surrender amid pressure for him to resign over a $700 million financial scandal.

See Full Article

Najib has been under fire since July after leaked documents showed he received $700 million into his private accounts from entities linked to indebted state investment fund 1MDB. The 1MDB crisis has been partly blamed for a sharp plunge in the Malaysian ringgit, which fell to 17-year lows against the dollar in August.

Opening an annual meeting of his ruling Malay party, Najib reiterated that the money in his accounts was a political donation. He said 1MDB debts of at least 42 billion ringgit ($9.8 billion) were being resolved with the recent sale of its power assets to a China company.

"I am convinced that I am on the side of the truth, and the truth will eventually prevail," Najib told more than 2,000 delegates of his United Malays National Organization.

He said he was aware of efforts to try to remove him and warned that "such treasonous acts" could sink UMNO and destroy the Malay race.

"Even though some may turn against us, even though we are being pushed repeatedly to make us fall, there shall be no retreat, no surrender. No retreat! No surrender!" Najib said.

It is the biggest political crisis for Najib since he took power in 2009. He has denied any wrongdoing but refuses to identify the donor of the money from the Middle East. He has fired his deputy and other critics in his government, sacked the attorney-general probing him, suspended two newspapers and blocked a British-based website.

The hard-line tactics are also employed at the three-day party assembly. Muhyiddin Yassin, who was fired as deputy prime minister in August but remained as the party's deputy president, was barred from speaking at the assembly.

Debates by delegates, which are usually broadcast live on screens in the public hall where the meetings are being held, are now held behind closed doors to prevent misreporting, officials said. Non-Muslim reporters were barred from an event held by the party Wednesday to uphold Islam.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, an ardent critic of Najib, has slammed the repression and said that democracy is dead in the party.

UMNO is the linchpin of the National Front coalition that has ruled Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957.

Support for the National Front has eroded in the last two general elections. In 2013, it won the polls but lost the popular vote for the first time to the opposition alliance led by Anwar Ibrahim, who is now in prison after being convicted of sodomizing an aide in a case widely regarded as politically motivated.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Indonesian president vows to rebuild after deadly quake

    World News CTV News
    TRINGGADING, Indonesia - Indonesia's president travelled to areas devastated by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake and vowed that torn-apart communities would be rebuilt. Stopping Friday morning at a collapsed mosque in Tringgading not far from the quake's epicenter, Joko "Jokowi" Widodo gave money to people who had lost family members. Source
  • Lethal mistake leads to harrowing ambush in Mosul

    World News CTV News
    IRBIL, Iraq -- As Iraqi forces advanced toward the al-Salam hospital in Mosul earlier this week, encountering only light resistance from Islamic State fighters, commanders decided to seize the facility instead of sweeping the neighbourhoods along the road leading to it. Source
  • Bolivian official breaks silence about air crash in Colombia

    World News CTV News
    LA PAZ, Bolivia -- A Bolivian aviation official who signed off on the flight plan for a chartered aircraft that crashed in the Andes is breaking her silence and accusing her bosses of trying to stage a coverup. Source
  • Official accuses bosses of cover up in crash that wiped out soccer team

    World News Toronto Sun
    LA PAZ, Bolivia — A Bolivian official who signed off on the flight plan for a chartered aircraft that crashed in the Andes is breaking her silence and accusing her bosses of trying to stage a coverup. Source
  • Chris Hadfield mourns the loss of 'class act' and inspiration, John Glenn

    Canada News CBC News
    Col. Chris Hadfield — Canada's most recognizable former astronaut — says the death of his idol and colleague John Glenn is tragic. "He was absolutely one of the inspiring figures that dictated the life that I chose to follow," Hadfield told CBC Calgary News at 6 on Thursday, after news of Glenn's passing surfaced earlier in the day. Source
  • Biden calls on Trudeau to defend international ’rules of road’

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA - U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to be a defender of the international “rules of the road” to help shepherd the world through a period of deep uncertainty. Biden delivered that message in a stirring speech at a state dinner in his honour in Ottawa on Thursday night, in which he singled out the fight against climate change as the most important issue of this generation. Source
  • Canadians react to the new Viola Desmond $10 banknote

    Canada News CTV News
    A black Nova Scotian woman who refused to be ousted from a whites-only section of a segregated movie theater will grace the front of Canada’s new $10 banknote in 2018. The announcement by Finance Minister Bill Morneau on Thursday marks the first time a Canadian woman will be immortalized on the front of her country’s currency. Source
  • 'Frustrating' backlog of refugee applications will likely get longer as federal targets drop

    Canada News CBC News
    Spurred on by this year's fast-tracking of displaced Syrians, nearly 30,000 more people are in line to come to Canada as refugees — but they may be in for a wait as the total number of refugees to be resettled in the coming year is much lower than this year's target. Source
  • Mexico finds 110 suffocating migrants in trailer after crash

    World News CTV News
    FILE - In this July 29, 2010 file photo, deportees pray as they gather for breakfast provided by the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Source
  • Quebec Algonquins file title claim to downtown Ottawa

    Canada News CBC News
    In a move to block a treaty between the Algonquins of Ontario and the federal and Ontario governments, a group of Quebec Algonquins have filed an Aboriginal title claim for lands in downtown Ottawa, including Parliament Hill, the Supreme Court of Canada and Lebreton Flats. Source