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Malaysia PM critic says prevented from travelling to US to lodge 1MDB complaint

Saturday, September 19, 2015 - 14:02
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Malaysia's 1MDB has agreed to sell all its energy assets to China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and its subsidiaries for 9.83 billion ringgit (S$3.23 billion), a key step in the embattled state fund's drive to cut its debts.

[KUALA LUMPUR] A former senior member of Malaysia's ruling party said authorities prevented him from boarding a flight on Friday bound for New York, where he planned to lodge a complaint with police against indebted state investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Khairuddin Abu Hassan has already lodged complaints in Switzerland and Hong Kong regarding banking activity involving 1MDB, which has been linked to various individuals under investigation in Switzerland for suspected corruption.

Mr Khairuddin said on his official Facebook page that immigration officials prevented him from leaving on orders from Malaysian police, who later asked him to report to Kuala Lumpur's police headquarters at 11am (0300 GMT) on Monday.

"Just now when I asked during a conversation with the investigating officer, he confirmed that I will be questioned by the police for handing in evidence related to the 1MDB scandal to the Swiss Attorney-General's chambers!!" Mr Khairuddin wrote.

Mr Khairuddin, immigration authorities and the police did not respond to telephone calls and emails seeking comment. 1MDB declined to comment.

In July, the Wall Street Journal reported that 1MDB transferred US$700 million dollars into bank accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak. Mr Najib, who chairs 1MDB's advisory board, denied taking money from 1MDB for personal gain.

The country's anti-graft agency declared the funds a donation, while the prime minister has faced anti-government protests and calls to step down.

In February,Mr Najib's United Malays National Organisation ousted Mr Khairuddin from the party after he was declared bankrupt. Mr Khairuddin has since travelled to several countries to campaign against Najib and 1MDB, which has more than US$11 billion in debt.

Mr Khairuddin is not the first person to say he had been prevented from leaving the country.

In July, opposition lawmakers Tony Pua and Rafizi Ramli who had been critical of 1MDB said they had been barred without reason from travelling.

On Tuesday, Switzerland's federal prosecutor said Malaysia had agreed to arrange for Swiss officials to interview witnesses in their investigation of alleged money laundering and corruption related to 1MDB.

REUTERS

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