Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak rebuffed allegations of suppression of the probe into the multi-billion dollar financial irregularities in the state investment fund 1 Malaysia Berhad, saying it was he who initiated the investigation into the scandal.
The prime minister's latest offensive came a day after a Malaysian court sentenced prominent opposition parliamentarian Rafizi Ramli to 18 months in jail for exposing documents related to the financial scandal that rocked the government.
"It was I who first instructed multiple authorities in Malaysia to conduct investigations... I have always made clear that full cooperation should be extended to any investigation provided it is in accordance with the laws of our country," Najib told an English-language Japanese business journal during a visit to the country.
Meanwhile the prime minister's office said in reply to queries n the parliament that the Malaysian government had offered cooperation to various government and international institutions investigating the 1MDB financial scandal.
There were reports last Friday that Malaysia had denied Switzerland's request for legal assistance in the ongoing probe into the fraud at the sovereign wealth fund.
The Swiss authorities said in January they were probing suspected violation of Swiss laws in the case involving the misappropriation of funds at 1MDB. The investigators said $4 billion had been stolen from the a Malaysian state fund.
In Japan, Najib said the 1MDB scandal was "politicised" by people with domestic political ambitions. They also fed foreign authorities with false or incomplete information, the prime minister said.
In Kuala Lumpur, the Minister in Prime Minister's Department Paul Low echoed Najib, saying the country's deckling ranking in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) owed to the smear campaign against the government.
"It is a composite index that gathers corruption-related data compiled by various reputed institutions. CPI reflects the perception by observers from around the world, including experts that reside and work in the respective countries that were being evaluated," the minister said, according to the Edge.
Apart from Malaysian investigation agencies, Singapore, Switzerland and the US are also probing people and organisations involved in the 1MDB scandal.
The complexities of the investigation are something people abroad cannot easily comprehend, the prime minister told the Nikkei Asian Review.
On Monday a Malaysian court convicted Rafizi Ramli, a member of the Parliament from Pandan and the vice-president and secretary-general of the opposition Parti Keadlian Rakyat (PKR) for leaking classified documents related to the 1MDB probe.