PM: We need proof of deal

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia needs proof before it can act on claims that the previous administration used project deals with China to bail out the troubled 1MDB investment fund, says the Prime Minister.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said until then, no action could be taken.

“I suppose there are documents but the question is whether it can be shown to us.

“We need to find the documents to be used as proof that this actually happened.

“At the moment, this is just a story in the press. We have no documents,” he told reporters after chairing a meeting of the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corrup­tion here yesterday.

Dr Mahathir was asked whether the allegations reported by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) would affect Malaysia’s relations with China.

According to WSJ, which cited minutes from certain meetings, senior Chinese leaders offered to help bail out 1MDB in 2016.

Chinese officials allegedly told visiting Malaysians that China would use its influence to try and get the US and other countries to drop probes into allegations that allies of then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and others were plundering the fund, claimed WSJ.

In return, Malaysia offered stakes in railway and pipeline projects as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The Chinese Embassy here and Najib have dismissed the report.

On the whereabouts of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, the Prime Minister said the latter had yet to be located.

“But we will find him. There are only seven billion people (in the world), it is not very difficult.

“We can find a needle in the haystack ... and I think he will be the needle,” Dr Mahathir added.