Newspaper article International New York Times

Brother of Malaysian Premier Steps Aside as Bank's Chief

Newspaper article International New York Times

Brother of Malaysian Premier Steps Aside as Bank's Chief

Article excerpt

Nazir Razak said he would take a leave of absence from CIMB Group Holdings while his bank examined his handling of nearly $7 million he received from his brother.

Malaysia's billion-dollar political scandal claimed another casualty on Monday when the prominent banker Nazir Razak announced that he would temporarily step aside while his bank examined his handling of nearly $7 million he received from his brother, Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Mr. Nazir said he would take a leave of absence from his positions as chairman and director of CIMB Group Holdings after acknowledging that he took nearly $7 million from his brother and distributed it, as he was instructed, to governing party figures before national elections in 2013. "These events took place three years ago," Mr. Nazir said at a news conference. "My brother asked for some help, and I agreed."

"I acted based on what I knew at that time," he said.

Mr. Nazir's decision to step aside voluntarily while the bank conducts an internal review is likely to focus attention on the refusal of Mr. Najib to step down over more serious allegations, including that he deposited more than $1 billion in questionable funds into his personal bank accounts.

"This is definitely the right move, and it will certainly put more pressure on Najib," said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, chief executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, a Malaysian research institute. "People will say, 'Your brother is being internally investigated for just $7 million while you are accused of being involved with a much bigger sum of money."'

News reports have said that much of the money the prime minister deposited came from a government investment fund that he oversees, the 1Malaysia Development Berhad, commonly known as 1MDB. Mr. Najib denies any wrongdoing and has resisted all calls to give up his post. He has, however, removed officials who were critical of his actions, including a former attorney general, Abdul Gani Patail, and a former deputy prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.