I was only interested in doing my job, says Malaysia’s ex-PM Najib

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak said he was only interested in doing his best for the country, adding that it is alright if no one appreciates this.

In a note penned on Aug 22 – a day before he was sent to jail to serve 12 years for graft linked to the 1MDB scandal – but uploaded on his Facebook on Friday (Aug 26), Najib said he has always put the people first.

“I was only interested in doing my job, giving my best. It is Ok if no one appreciates these. Such is life after all,” he said.

“There are people who say don’t step on a friend or don’t pull your friend down when you fall. I guess in politics, you should never be a gentleman. But that is my personality, how can I be someone I am not,” he added.

Citing a list of his achievements, Najib said he settled the legal issues left behind by previous leaders and managed to overcome several financial crises and increased the size of the economy from RM700 billion (S$218.41 billion) to RM 1.4 trillion.

He also said that he boosted the assets of sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional by four-fold, from RM33 billion to RM116 billion.

“The world of politics is full of persecution, cruelty, enmity, sincerity returned with betrayal and disparage. I have seen and experienced all this until today. Probably this is my journey which is my destiny in this world,” he said.

He added his sacrifices has also took a toll on his family as he was busy giving his best to the country.

“Now I face a heavy challenge which will test both my family and me. I will face it. Maybe… this is the price you pay for all the sacrifices (made).”

On July 28, 2020, the Kuala Lumpur High Court had sentenced him to 12 years in jail and a RM210 million (S$65 million) fine after being found guilty of seven charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of position in a case linked to Malaysian sovereign fund 1MDB.

He was the first former prime minister in Malaysia to be sent to prison after the Federal Court dismissed his final appeal earlier this week.