The Wall Street Journal has a bombshell story (paywall) about China's overseas influence, based on recently uncovered meeting minutes of the previous Malaysian government led by Najib Razak, and interviews with "people in position to know the events, among them a former official of Mr. Najib's government". The scandal was a key reason for the ousting of Najib in the 2018 election, which saw the return of Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister.
A series of meetings organised by the Journal have revealed that Chinese officials told Malaysian counterparts that China would try to deter corruption probes by the U.S. and others into the so-called 1MDB fund, if Malaysia agreed to grant China deals as part of its Belt and Road Initiative.
"China never attaches political conditions on our cooperation with other countries".
"We do not accept any groundless accusations made against China", the embassy said. Under the ongoing investigation, Nazib has been charged with corruption, criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving 1MDB deals.
China also offered to bug the homes of journalists in Hong Kong investigating the fund, the minutes showed.
Within months, the government in Kuala Lumpur signed billions of dollars worth of deals with Chinese state companies backed by funding from Chinese banks.
"But I have to refer back to see if there are details or thing explicitly said", he said.
Actions across globe planned in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en clans
Yan Roberts asked as North Bay joined about two dozen other communities across the country to protest the RCMP's actions. The elected councils of the 20 First Nations along the pipeline route have signed agreements supporting the project.
A MALAYSIAN court on Monday declined to grant bail to former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng, pending his extradition to the United States, where he faces charges related to suspected money laundering of funds siphoned off from state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
What China wanted in exchange were stakes in pipeline and railway projects for China's One Belt, One Road program of building infrastructure overseas.
Malaysia's Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng told local media that he could not confirm the claims but would look into the matter.
Low, who is reported to be living in China, has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said he had not heard about the report, adding: "China and Malaysia are working together on specific projects and both countries have maintained very good and friendly relations".
The US Justice Department has estimated that a total of US$4.5 billion was misappropriated by high-level 1MDB fund officials and their associates between 2009 and 2014, including some of the funds that Goldman Sachs helped raise.
"We promote the Belt and Road initiative under the principles of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, with an aim to pursue shared development and prosperity", it said.