Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has blasted attempts to paint the US Department of Justice's (DOJ) move to seize assets acquired using stolen 1MDB funds as foreign intervention in the Malaysia, pointing out the action was due to the perpetrators breaking US law.
"Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his henchmen are thinking of ways to twist the facts to mislead Malaysians. This time, the DOJ is being accused of interfering in Malaysian affairs.
"Why would the US, that appreciates Najib's policies and the friendship between Najib and US president Barack Obama, want to oust Najib?
"They need him to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. If they wanted to oust him, there are many ways, as can be seen in the Middle East.
"The truth is US laws was violated by Najib's family, friends and Malaysian Official 1," he said in a blog posting today.
Mahathir said money laundering is a crime in most countries and similar action is usually taken against those who spend money that was stolen or from drug trafficking in other countries.
"The billions spent by (Najib's step-son) Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz and Jho Low went through US banks, and were used to acquire real estate and artworks in the US, pay gambling debts and for the film production of the obscene (movie) ‘Wolf of Wall Street’.
"The country (US) has the right to take legal action in accordance with its own law, just as Malaysia has the right to take legal action on any foreigner who commit crimes in Malaysia.
"The crimes of foreigners is not exempted from the laws of any country," he said.
Mahathir said after the DOJ's civil action to seize the assets, criminal action was likely to follow.
He added that while these crimes may be covered up in Malaysia, it would not happen overseas.
"If this revelation is influencing the people's opinion toward Najib's government, it is Najib's own fault.
"Why try to spend illegal money in the US?" he said.