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Embattled Malaysian PM Defies Calls to Resign Over Financial Scandal

  • VOA News

President of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak inspects a ceremonial guard of honor during the opening ceremony of the party's general assembly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2

President of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak inspects a ceremonial guard of honor during the opening ceremony of the party's general assembly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is vowing not to give in to pressure to resign his post over a financial scandal involving a state-owned investment fund.

Speaking Thursday at the annual meeting of his long-ruling United Malays National Organization, Najib assured the 2,000-plus delegates that he had done nothing wrong, telling them he had the truth on his side, and "the truth will prevail."

The prime minister has been under fire since revelations surfaced in July that he received about $700 million in his private bank accounts that appeared to have come from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Najib has denied all accusations of wrongdoing, insisting the money was a political donation from someone in the Middle East whom he has refused to identify.

Najib has fired several high-ranking officials from his government who have demanded his resignation, including UMNO vice president Muhyiddin Yassin, who was sacked in August from his post as deputy prime minister.

Najib also sounded a note of defiance in Thursday's speech, telling delegates that "even though we are being pushed to fall, there shall be no retreat, no surrender."

The revelations involving Najib were part of a larger investigation of financial irregularities and allegations of graft at 1MDB.

UMNO has ruled Malaysia since winning its independence from Britain in 1958, but has steadily lost support over the years, losing the popular vote to its opposition for the first time in 2013 parliamentary elections. But UMNO and its coalition parties retained power due to the makeup of parliamentary districts and strong support among rural voters.

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