Malaysia: Parliament panel to whitewash PM Najib in crucial 1MDB report?

1MDB's purchase of power plants at steep prices and its failed joint venture with Saudi energy firm PetroSaudi had bled the state fund pale,

A crucial report of the long-drawn investigations into scandal-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd is likely to deflect fire from embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak and rather focus on the massive commissions earned by banks including Goldman Sachs in raising funds for the debt-trapped fund.

Citing opposition figures, Malaysian media has reported that the parliamentary committee report on the multi-billion dollar financial scandal, which will be tabled in the house on Thursday, will leave Najib unscathed.

"The report will lay the blame on the previous management, but leave Najib untouched. There was also strong insistence to include 1MDB's debt rationalisation plan and conclude that it will result in a cash surplus for the company," a source told the Straits Times.

Sections in Malaysian media have raised concerns if key contents in the Auditor' General's report into the country's biggest financial scandal will ever available to the public.

"Classifying the document under the Official Secrets Act is the latest in a long string of gambits by Prime Minister Najib Razak to keep the wraps on what arguably is the biggest scandal in Malaysian history," Malaysia Chronicle wrote.

The parliamentary committee's report will draw on the Malaysian Auditor General's findings in a year-long investigation into the scam, but it will differ from the A-G's report on key details, such as Najib's role.

Najib has been under fire over allegations that as much as $681 million was transferred into his own personal accounts from the Malaysian state fund. Almost half a dozen countries are carrying out separate investigations into the irregularities surrounding the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad.

However, the parliamentary report will turn the focus away from the prime minister, but instead focus on other aspects of the scam, local media reported.

The opposition says Najib government classified the A-G's review under the Official Secrets Act to ensure its contents do not get wide currency.

Malaysia this week arrested a leading member of the opposition on charges under the Official Secrets Act after he made revelations about the ongoing 1 Malaysia Development Berhard (1MDB) corruption probe.

Rafizi Ramli, vice-president of the People's Justice Party (PKR), had allegedly distributed a page from the Auditor-General's classified report on 1MDB investigations.

The Malaysia Chronicle reported, citing a a Kuala Lumpur source, the report would focus on the role of multinational financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, as well as on 1MDB's string of ill-advised acquisitions.

It said the 7.69 percent commission earned by Goldman Sachs in raising $6.5 billion for 1MDB will be dealt in detail in the report.

1MDB's purchase of power plants at steep prices and its failed joint venture with Saudi energy firm PetroSaudi had bled the state fund pale, putting its management under the scanner.

The report will also focus on 1MDB's mysterious investments linked to Cayman Islands as well as the role of Najib's alleged financier Low Taek Jho, who runs the Good Star Limited.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that more than $1 billion was deposited into Najib's account between 2011 and 2013.

The prime minister is the head of the state investment vehicle he set up in 2009 to fund development projects. International investigations have revealed that money passed through a complex web of transactions before being deposited in Najib's accounts.

Swiss authorities started a probe in February into suspected violation of Swiss laws in the transactions related to 1MDB later found that as much as $4 billion was stolen from the Malaysian state fund. This was followed by investigations in Singapore, the United States, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the United Arab Emirates.