Home Asia-Pacific Corruption Controversies: The Truth Behind The UAE-Malaysia Audio Recording

Corruption Controversies: The Truth Behind The UAE-Malaysia Audio Recording


An audio recording involving the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed and the former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razaq went viral in 2016. It became one of the biggest political issues of the decade, and it put the Malaysian-Arab trading industry and political alliance at stake.

The said recording was captured during a long-distance phone call between the two. It became viral right after the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, also known as the MACC, revealed it before the public.

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razaq was the stepfather of the famous Hollywood producer Riza Aziz. By 2016, the latter faced a case associated with a multi-billion dollar-money laundering scam.

The former Malaysian Prime Minister had his reputation at stake by the time his stepson got involved at the said multi-billion dollar money laundering case. Apparently, he had to pull off some strings and persuaded Abu Dhabi Crown, Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed, to help him out through forgering a loan agreement.

On the recorded conversation of the two, the former Malaysian Prime Minister asked the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince to create a forged loan agreement to conceal his stepson– Riza Aziz’s wealth as a clean and legitimate fruit of his hard work from making movies in Hollywood.

As he was persuading Zayed, he stated that his stepson was innocent and that he has nothing to do with the money laundering case that was charged to him. He also stated that all his son ever wanted was to make movies and contribute to the art of show business. Hollywood producer Riza Aziz being involved in a criminal case is a threat to his stepfather who holds a high political position in Malaysia.

The audio recordings, according to anti-graft agency chief Latheefa Koya, was a great strain on the political environment in Asia. According to her, the recordings became strong evidence for charging the involved persons for obstruction of justice, criminal conspiracy, fabrication of false evidence, compromising national security, and abuse of power.

Right after the audio went viral, the anti-graft agency started to press charges and create progress on the case. On the first hearing, former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razaq stated that he was surprised by the revelations and the charges that were pressed against him. He pleaded innocent and provided a public statement where he remained firm that he was only speaking as a father and that the people have only misunderstood his statements on the said recording.

According to the anti-graft agency, cases of political alliance most often involve under-the-table transactions which are most likely a threat to the state and its people. As of today, it is still one of the top issues hindering the Asian Region to a corruption-free political environment. Today, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission takes a stand toward a corruption-free country by building up think tanks that encourage the youth and their citizens to be vigilant and to fight amongst all types of abuse in power. Malaysia has also become one of the most progressive countries in Asia when it comes to fighting corruption.


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