OUTRAGED: Malaysian protesters rally in Kuala Lumpur in August last year as part of an ongoing campaign to force the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
OUTRAGED: Malaysian protesters rally in Kuala Lumpur in August last year as part of an ongoing campaign to force the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak. RITCHIE B Tongoepa

Calls for Malaysian PM to quit over $1.4 billion in bank

PRESSURE is growing on Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to resign following a Wall Street Journal report alleging deposits of about $1.4billion have been made into his personal accounts.

Adding to the momentum for the PM to go, former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir bin Mohamad has resigned from his country's ruling party, saying he does not want to be associated with a group that is seen as supporting corruption under Mr Najib.

"I want to leave UMNO because it is no longer UMNO," Mr Mahathir, the PM from 1981-2003, told reporters.

"It's a party dedicated to protecting Najib. I can't be a member of such a party."

The WSJ reported last year that $950 million had been deposited into Mr Najib's account, but the Malaysian Attorney-General found it was a legal donation from a member of Saudi Arabia's royal family, most of the money had been returned and there had been no improper behaviour.

However, a later WSJ report alleged a far higher figure and said global investigators believed much of the money came from a Malaysian state fund and went through a series of international transactions before ending up in the PM's account. The state fund, called 1MDB, was set up Mr Najib in 2008.

Mr Najib has denied any wrongdoing.


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