As Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was feted at a prestigious investment conference in the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, UK broadcaster Channel 4 ran a story questioning the merits of hosting a leader that has been linked to at least seven international investigations related to corruption.
Najib was the keynote speaker at the Malaysia-UK Investor Showcase Agenda jointly organised by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority and the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council.
Channel 4’s news segment, whose reporter was recently barred from covering Najib during the Sarawak election after he asked him a question about 1MDB, ran a report repeating the allegations of corruption against Najib and asking if it was appropriate that the Malaysian prime minister should be hosted at the Commonwealth building.
According to the news segment, the broadcaster was also not allowed into the investment conference despite repeated request to the organisers.
Early in May, a Channel 4 reporter and cameraperson were barred from covering Najib after the Sarawak polls when they tried to ask Najib about the millions in his personal accounts.
But UK officials who spoke to the Channel 4 journalist seemed unfazed by the allegations against Najib, saying that legitimate business with Malaysia was something that must be kept going.
They pointed out that the corruption probes into 1MDB and the monies in the prime minister’s personal accounts have not been shown to be linked to an offence.
Channel 4’s attempts to ask Najib further questions also failed as the prime minister kept mum when the broadcaster met him outside his hotel.
In any case, the report noted that Malaysia is the second largest investor in London’s commercial property market after the United States, with the redevelopment of the Battersea power plant being the crowning jewel with over US$11 billion in total costs.
The irony here, said the Channel 4 journalist in the news segment, was that Najib was being hosted in the same building that just a week ago was the site of an anti-corruption conference.
Najib has denied all allegations of wrongdoing in the issues related to the debt-ridden 1MDB and the millions that went to his personal accounts. He was also cleared of wrongdoings by Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali.
There have also been accusations that some foreign media are part of the conspiracy supposedly started by certain parties to allegedly smear Najib and topple him from power. – Malaysiakini