（Langkawi June 20 2018）Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak pointed out that he had not instructed Malaysian businessman Jho Low to be involved in the affairs of the 1 Malaysia Development Corporation (1MDB), nor could he control what Jho Low had done.
"I never gave him directions, but he volunteered to do something he thought could help 1MDB. No matter what he ultimately did, it was the responsibility of the management and the board of directors." Najib said.
In the interview with Reuters yesterday , Najib for the first time also spoke at length about Low Taek Jho, the financier better known as Jho Low. US and Malaysian investigators have named Jho Low as a key figure who benefited from 1MDB funds.
Najib said he felt that Low’s connections in the Middle East, particularly with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, could be helpful in pulling in more investment to Malaysia from those places.
Malaysia is seeking to arrest Low, believed to be residing abroad, for his involvement in the 1MDB scandal.
He described Low and Najib’s stepson Riza as friends but said he was not aware of any dealings involving 1MDB funds in Riza’s Hollywood production company, which produced The Wolf of Wall Street, among other movies.
When asked if he was still in touch with Low, Najib said: 「We have cut off communication again. I don』t know where he is.」
Low’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Najib also strongly denied that he was involved in the 1MDB corruption case and reiterated that the $681 million (RM2.6 billion) transferred to his private account was a contribution from Saudi Arabia, rather than the 1MDB referring to the U.S. Department of Justice.
He said that the deceased Saudi Arabia King Abdullah had promised he would provide a political contribution, so the money in the account was derived from the king's instructions.
Najib said he had no knowledge of any transactions involving his personal account, as he had appointed Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, the director of SRC International, a former 1MDB unit, to manage it.
Malaysia’s anti-graft agency has issued an arrest warrant for Nik Faisal but his whereabouts are unknown.
He explained that he was not aware of the 1MDB funds being used to purchase luxury yachts, famous paintings, jewelry and real estate. Everything happened without his knowledge.
"I didn't participate in yachts and paintings... I didn't see any of these paintings."
"I absolutely will not allow 1MDB funds to be used in these matters. I have been in the government for so long and I know what's wrong." he said.