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In Malaysia Najib says "conscience clear" as funding scandal festers

Malaysia's anti-corruption agency, MACC, questioned Najib over the deposits at the weekend and the commission also said on Monday that it had interviewed the unidentified donor in the Middle East.

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Malaysia"s Prime Minister Najib Razak arrives at a session of the 27th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Kuala Lumpur, November 21, 2015. play

Malaysia"s Prime Minister Najib Razak arrives at a session of the 27th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Kuala Lumpur, November 21, 2015.

(REUTERS/Olivia Harris)

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said he had done nothing wrong in receiving hundreds of millions of dollars into his personal bank accounts, as his party opened its annual meeting on Tuesday amid tensions over a festering funding scandal.

Najib has so far weathered calls for him to quit over allegations of graft at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and his receipt of 2.6 billion ringgit ($610.8 million) in what he says was a political donation.

But pressure is mounting on Najib as the saga causes a rift between top leaders in his United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which has ruled the country for 58 years but looks increasingly at risk of losing the next election.

In his most detailed explanation since the scandal erupted in July, Najib said his conscience was "absolutely clear" and the truth would come out when investigations were completed.

Malaysia's anti-corruption agency, MACC, questioned Najib over the deposits at the weekend and the commission also said on Monday that it had interviewed the unidentified donor in the Middle East.

"Firstly, the 2.6 billion ringgit is neither public funds nor 1MDB's money. This was confirmed by the MACC," Najib said in an interview with state television TV3.

Malaysia's Central Bank was aware of the accounts' existence, he said, adding the donor did not see it as a bribe and expected nothing in return.

"It's a donation, a gift. A donation is not illegal under any legal provision," Najib said.

The Wall Street Journal had reported in July that the funds had been discovered in Najib's accounts by investigators probing accusations of financial irregularities at 1MDB.

Najib, who chairs 1MDB's advisory board, has denied the money came from the fund, which is being investigated by several foreign agencies, including the FBI.

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