Malaysia has emerged over the past several years as the Asia-Pacific region’s capital of Shariah finance. That’s what makes the fact that its Prime Minister is up to his ears into a corruption probe of a huge state investment fund all the more troubling…

Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General on Friday said it had opened criminal proceedings relating to Malaysia’s debt-laden state fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), which involved “suspected corruption of public foreign officials, dishonest management of public interests and money laundering”.

1MDB, whose advisory board is chaired by Prime Minister Najib Razak, has been dogged by controversy over its US$11 billion debt and is being examined by authorities investigating accusations of financial mismanagement and graft.

Najib is trying to reassert his leadership over his government and a stumbling economy following severe criticism after being embroiled in the 1MDB scandal.

In July, the Wall Street Journal reported that investigators looking into 1MDB found that nearly US$700 million was deposited into Najib’s private bank account.


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