Malaysian PM Najib's brother Nazir Razak 'offered to resign' as CIMB chairman

Nazir, who was re-elected as CIMB chairman, said the funds transfer was a one-off event to help his brother.

Malaysian Prime Minister Naib Razak's brother Nazir Razak offered to resign as CIMB chairman but the bank's directors stopped him from stepping down, according to reports.

Nazir, who has been under fire over his financial transactions that linked CIMB to the 1Malaysia Berhad scandal, said he will go on leave pending an independent investigation into the transfer of US$7 million from his personal account on behalf of his brother.

Nazir actually wanted to resign, but the CIMB board disagreed, the Straits Times reported, citing sources.

Nazir, who was re-elected as CIMB chairman, said the funds transfer was a one-off event to help his brother.

"My brother asked for some help and I agreed after assessing that it does not involve anything illegal or misusing of my position at CIMB or any inappropriate use of CIMB resources," Nazir said on Monday.

Nazir, who had earlier admitted his role in routing US$7 million to the political allies of his brother, denied any wrongdoing.

"There was no other time when my brother asked for this kind of assistance," Nazir said after the CIMB general body meeting.

CIMB, the second largest bank in Malaysia by assets, said it has hired Ernst & Young to conduct the independent review of the funds transfer.

Nazir said the CIMB board will decide if he will return to the post of chairman when the investigation is completed.

Nazir has been under fire for the funds transfer that linked CIMB to the ongoing muck-raking over the illegal transactions related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

He was specifically asked why he did not come clean on the funds transfer in the last three years, until the details were leaked recently.

"I was very clear of my legal position. So, what [was] there to talk about before (the report leaked)?, he asserted, according to The Edge.

Earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported Najib Razak had transferred millions of dollars from his bank accounts to political allies. This included US$7 million that was transferred to Nazir, which finally found its way to politicians from the ruling United Malay National Organisation (Umno).