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WSJ faces possible lawsuit by Najib over 1MDB report

Malaysia prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak(pictured) is mulling over legal action against The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) which made claims that he had channelled 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) funds into his personal account.

The prime minister told a brief press conference that he had consulted his lawyers over t‎he “malicious claims”, reported Malaysia daily The Star.

“‎Referring to the wild allegations made against me that I had allegedly stolen US$700 million dollars from 1MDB and placed it in my personal accounts, I have referred to my lawyers and they will advise me on what further legal and other action I can take, within the country and overseas,” Najib ‎said, according to The Star.

Last week, WSJ reported that up to US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) was transferred to Najib’s personal accounts on March 21 and March 25, 2013.

Najib denied the allegations and dismissed it as a part of a smear campaign by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who has in recent months called for Najib to step down, according to The Star.

WSJ, however, has not taken down the article. WSJ’s Hong Kong bureau chief Ken Brown told US broadcaster CNBC’s Street Signs in a phone interview uploaded last Thursday that its reports were based on documents that “had been shared with the Malaysian attorney-general, with others in the government so they’ve been seen by all and also the prime minister,” the Malay Mail Online reported.

Najib’s own cabinet ministers, including deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and rural and regional development minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, have reportedly urged the PM to take legal action against WSJ if the report is untrue, The Star said.

Najib, who is also finance minister, founded 1MDB and heads its board of advisors.

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