KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 8):  Senior Chinese leaders offered in 2016 to help bail out the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fund at the center of a swelling, multibillion-dollar graft scandal, said The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

In a report Jan 7, WSJ said according to minutes from a series of previously undisclosed meetings it reviewed, Chinese officials told visiting Malaysians that China would use its influence to try to get the US and other countries to drop their probes of allegations that allies of then-Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and others plundered 1MDB.

It said the Chinese also offered to bug the homes and offices of Journal reporters in Hong Kong who were investigating the fund, to learn who was leaking information to them, according to the minutes.

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