PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has defended Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor's wealth, claiming he acquired it from shares he held in various companies back in the 90s.
Najib said the former Federal Territories minister acquired his wealth as he was a trading partner of businessman Tan Sri Vincent Tan.
He said Tengku Adnan also held shares in news publishing companies as well as a telecommunications company.
Najib referenced economist Edmund Terence Gomez book, Malaysia's Political Economy: Politics, Patronage and Profits, to make his point.
"In the early 1990s, the Malaysians stock market was bullish. It was then that he acquired his wealth," he said in a Facebook post on Friday (March 6).
Najib said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the prime minister then while the finance minister was the "future prime minister", alluding to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
"That is why there is a need to ask the both of them if you want to know how Tengku Adnan became wealthy," he said.
He also claimed that Tengku Adnan had already amassed his wealth then with assets of almost RM1bil when he was elected as a deputy minister from 2001 by the fourth prime minister (Dr Mahathir)," he said.
During court proceedings, it was revealed that Tengku Adnan had almost RM1bil in assets.
His defence team is trying to prove that he did not need to receive a bribe as he was already wealthy.
Tengku Adnan is accused of receiving RM2mil in bribes from a property developer.