Saturday, July 25, 2015

Opposition leaders warn British PM ahead of meeting with Najib

Published: 25 July 2015 9:50 AM

David Cameron greets Datuk Seri Najib Razak at 10, Downing St in 2013. Both leaders will meet again as Cameron seeks to promote British trade. – Reuters file pic, July 25, 2015.
David Cameron greets Datuk Seri Najib Razak at 10, Downing St in 2013. Both leaders will meet again as Cameron seeks to promote British trade. – Reuters file pic, July 25, 2015.

Opposition leaders have criticised the timing of British Prime Minister David Cameron's visit to Malaysia next week, saying it could send a signal that Downing Street was indifferent to allegations surrounding Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
Britain's Financial Times (FT) quoted PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar as saying that Cameron’s visit could show the UK government was not concerned about “the current scandal-ridden ground on which Najib treads”, while DAP's Tony Pua warned that any support to Najib would taint Britain's image "as a country which supports democratic principles and good governance”.
But a British official appeared to defend the visit, saying Cameron believed in engaging with all leaders.
"He has said that the way to talk about issues is to have an engaging relationship and try and work with countries.
“Malaysia is a longstanding partner of the UK and the relationship is important for our prosperity and security," FT quoted a source in Downing Street as saying.
The Najib government is currently battling allegations of mismanagement and corruption surrounding his brainchild, 1MDB, which has raked up debts up to RM42 billion.
The saga took a twist after The Wall Street Journal's expose last month that billions of ringgit from the state-owned fund had allegedly ended in Najib's personal bank accounts, an allegation the Malaysian prime minister has denied.
Cameron and Najib had met at the height of the Bersih protests for electoral reforms in Kuala Lumpur in 2011, sparking criticism from Malaysians in the UK.
Cameron is in a series of high-profile meetings with Asian leaders to promote British trade outside Europe, which includes meeting Chinese president Xi Jinping and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi later this year.
“We need to go to the ends of the earth to sell our wares," he wrote recently in Britain's Daily Mail.
According to FT, Britain has been keen to sell its Eurofighter Typhoon military jets to Malaysia, and ministers were disappointed to see the aircraft lose out to rivals in the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and India. – July 25, 2015.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/opposition-leaders-warn-british-pm-ahead-of-meeting-with-najib#sthash.SJrpbVQm.dpuf

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