PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak insists that a 22-carat pink diamond pendant was a gift from a United Arab Emirates prince, and he is unaware of its whereabouts.
Speaking to Al Jazeera's 101 East in an exclusive interview on Friday (Oct 26), Najib said the prince was Sheikh Mansour, the brother of Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, who is also the chairman of International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic), who intended to present it to his wife.
"We know that Jho low was a close associate of Sheikh Mansour," he said, insisting it was a gift from Sheikh Mansour, which his wife did not receive.
"It's a matter of dispute what happened to the pink diamond. So let's not jump to conclusions."
When pressed that his wife and Jho Low met and that the jeweller knew that it was a gift from him to Rosmah and that Jho Low paid for it, he said:
"We didn't know, as far as we were concerned it was a gift from Sheikh Mansour who would know where it came from and who paid for it. We wouldn't know! We did not know the value of the present."
To a question on his stepson Riza Aziz's funding of the Wolf of Wall Street movie and the massive expensive properties he had acquired from what the DoJ says were funds from 1MDB, Najib said Riza had always been a movie buff.
"Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed told him in my presence that he was going to invest in his movies. We assumed that that whatever investment that is going to come from Abu Dhabi to fund it would be a loan.
"And my stepson was prepared to pay back every single cent that was given to him as a loan," he said.
When the reporter asked him what he would say to people who do not believe his explanations and that he was covering up, he said:
"No I mean, in all honesty, that's the truth. I mean there's nothing I can do if people don't believe it but that's the honest truth.
"Because of my track record as prime minister, I can stand by it because this country has developed by leaps and bounds during my tenure," said Najib.
When asked why his Al-Jazeera interviewer was deported in the midst of doing a story on murdered Mongolian Altantuya Sharibuu, Najib said:
"Good thing we deported you. You are a nuisance. Because as far as I am concerned, making lies. Fabricating lies is not something we want to tolerate in this country."
The 101 East episode featuring the interview will first be aired at 11.30am on Saturday (Oct 27) and repeated on Monday (Oct 29) at 12.30am and 1.30pm as well as on Tuesday (Oct 30) at 6.30am and 4.30pm. It will also be featured on the website after the first broadcast: www.aljazeera.com/programmes/101east/
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