Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has denied receiving RM42 million (S$13.7 million) from a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Channel NewsAsia reported today.
Mr Najib had been accused by Malaysia's former transport minister Dr Ling Liong Sik of pocketing the money from SRC International, which is currently being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission after controversy arose over a deposit of RM2.6 billion into Mr Najib's personal accounts.
The prime minister has maintained that the funds were a political donation.
"He will not make any answer or any stance until the investigation is over. Nevertheless, for the purpose of a reply, my client denies the allegation of RM42 million from SRC has gone into his personal account," Mr Najib's lawyer Mohd Hafarizam Harun was quoted as saying.
"I can safely say that my client did not admit that he has accepted the 42 million. All he said, in reference to Ling Liong Sik's defence, which he has admitted, was that this matter is still under investigation."
Dr M, BN leaders slam detention of 1MDB critics
On Oct 12, a group of Barisan Nasional leaders headed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad have come together to voice out against the prosecution of former Batu Kawan Umno vice-chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer, Matthias Chang under the new anti-terrorism law.
Both Khairuddin and Chang were detained under Section 124 of the Security Offence (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012 over offences deemed detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
Khairuddin was arrested after making several reports overseas, including in Singapore, Switzerland, France and Hong Kong against 1MDB.
The press conference was held while Khairuddin and Chang were being charged at the Kuala Lumpur magistrate's court with attempting to sabotage the country's banking and financial systems.
On Sep 16, the Himpunan Maruah Melayu rally which saw protesters turning the Padang Merbok field into a sea of red, brandishing placards and banners calling for Malay unity.
According to Sept 16 rally organisers, the red shirt protest was held to "protect racial dignity" and as a counter to the Aug 29th Bersih 4.0 rally.
Water cannons were fired at protesters in Petaling Street as the crowd there turned unruly.
Tens of thousands of protesters gathered for a rally to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak at the Bersih 4 rally on August 29 and 30.
Despite a government ban, many protesters wore the yellow "Bersih 4" T-shirt.
Malaysia's former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his wife turned up at a rally on Saturday night. He attended the rally the following day as well, saying he felt there was no other way to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak.
On July 28, Prime Minister Najib Razak dumped his deputy and four others in a cabinet reshuffle.
Najib said in a televised broadcast that he dropped deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin from his Cabinet was due to political and administrative considerations.
Najib named Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as Muhyiddin's replacement as DPM.
Zahid Hamidi is a right wing politician well liked by members of the United Malays National Organisation party, which has led Malaysian coalition governments since independence in 1957.
Muhyiddin had said at the weekend the ruling coalition could lose the next election if Najib and others did not better manage issues stemming from the 1MDB scandal.
Najib's government also announced that Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail, the man who had led investigations into the 1MDB scandal, had been replaced by Mohamed Apandi Ali. It gave no reason for the change.
On July 2, the Wall Street Journal reported that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak had close to US$700 million (S$944 million) in deposits from troubled state fund 1MDB wired into his personal account.
WSJ also released nine documents that showed alleged bank transfers from various companies to Najib's personal accounts on March 2013, December 2014 and February 2015.
A former journalist, Lester Melanyi, alleged that opposition leaders had conspired with whistleblower website Sarawak Report on the 1MDB issue.
Faced with mounting public pressure, the government has set up a multi-agency task force that includes respected central bank governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
The story took another turn when a tattooed Swiss national Xavier Andre Justo, a former executive at an early joint-venture partner of 1MDB, was nabbed by Thai police in Koh Samui. He later admitted to passing gigabytes of data to The Edge media group and Sarawak Report website.
The Home Ministry suspended for three months the publishing permits of two business papers published by The Edge Media Group. It earlier blocked access to the Sarawak Report website.
Mr Nazir Razak, Mr Najib's brother, condemned the suspension of The Edge, saying: "recent 1MDB coverage seems outstanding but if there were flaws then correct them or take legal recourse."
Malaysia's prime minister Najib Razak.
Former premier Mahathir Mohamad has pressed openly for Prime Minister Najib to step down to "save the country and Umno", their political party.
"If Umno wants to be saved, it has to change its leader. Najib has too many scandals, and he cannot seem to respond to them," the outspoken former prime minister said.
Mahathir also said Najib's performance as premier was worse than his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
In a post on his widely-read blog, Dr Mahathir cited several issues that he said showed why Mr Najib was not fit to lead the country.
These included the troubled investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) started by Mr Najib, which missed repeated deadlines to pay down billions of dollars in debts, with questions swirling around the whereabouts of huge sums.
Mahathir called 1MDB "highly embarrassing" for the country, and demanded explanations over alleged murky deals involving huge sums.
A recent New York Times investigative report also detailed multi-million-dollar purchases of luxury US real estate by a close Najib family associate and 1MDB figure, financier Low Taek Jho.
Malaysian tycoon Low Taek Jho spotted partying with socialite Paris Hilton.
The report also said documents showed millions of dollars in earlier jewellery purchases for Rosmah Mansor, Najib's wife.
Rosmah is a controversial figure in Malaysia, where she is routinely portrayed by critics as out of touch with ordinary citizens struggling to make ends meet.
Another issue raised by Dr Mahathir was the 2006 murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, with suspicions that she was killed to silence her over kickbacks in the 2002 purchase of French submarines.
Two bodyguards for Najib were convicted of murder and condemned in January to hang.
Dr Mahathir called for a new inquiry after one of the two men convicted of the murder - Mr Najib's former bodyguard Sirul Azhar Umar - claimed he had followed orders to kill her.
Malaysia has also drawn international criticism after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was jailed for five years on a sodomy conviction widely considered politically motivated.
Mr Najib's government has launched a tightening clampdown in which dozens of opponents were hauled up on sedition or other charges over the past year, including Mr Anwar's daughter, MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.