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Monday, May 16, 2016

Saudi prince: I really have no background on this RM2.6 billion issue

Saudi Arabia has never put in money to cause political turmoil in other countries, said a member of its royal family.

"Saudi Arabia has never given money to upset existing political regimes, even if we don't agree with them," Prince Sultan Abdulaziz, son of King Salman, said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

The prince, who is also the Kingdom's tourism minister, said this when asked why the royal family gave donations to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Prince Sultan said he was unable to comment on that specifically.

"I really have no background on this issue, I'm not trying to brush it off but I really have no background.

"It is an internal issue for Malaysia, and I'm sure you'll get it sorted out."

However, Prince Sultan Abdulaziz noted that Saudi is one of the biggest economic donors in the world, second only to the United States, and the kingdom has always financially supported the development of other Muslim nations.

Meanwhile, Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz noted that there was nothing wrong with receiving political donations in Malaysia.

"Even in our elections we do know that the Americans contributed to the opposition, through the Republican Institute, through the Democratic Institute. Which is normal to us," Nazri claimed.

The two tourism ministers were speaking to the media after signing a memorandum of understanding to mutually improve the tourism industries of Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

Najib has claimed that RM2.6 billion banked into his account prior to the 2013 general election was a political donation from the Saudi royal family.

An expose by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on the scandal said more than US$1 billion had flowed through Najib's accounts from 2011 to 2013.

ABC also furnished a letter from a Saudi prince detailing a US$375 million gift to Najib.

The government has used this as evidence to corroborate Najib's assertions that he had received donations from the Saudis. - Malaysiakini

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