Malaysian PM Najib Razak’s brother Nazir warns of 1MDB scandal fallout

The banker brother of Najib Razak has intervened in the financial scandal swirling around Malaysia and its prime minister, saying the future at home "terrifies" him.

Nazir Razak, chairman of CIMB, Malaysia's second-biggest bank, took to Instagram the day after Swiss authorities declared that there were "serious indications" that $4bn had gone astray in Malaysia.

"I just can't see how our institutions can recover, how our political atmosphere can become less toxic, how our international reputation can be repaired," he wrote on the social media site.

The fallout from corruption claims surrounding the 1MDB state investment fund, whose advisory board is chaired by Mr Najib, has triggered investigations in Switzerland, Singapore, the US and Hong Kong.

Mr Najib has admitted receiving $680m in his personal bank account, though he denies wrongdoing. The country's attorney-general said last week that the transfers to the prime minister were a donation from the Saudi royal family.

The posting by Mr Nazir, whose previous fraternal remarks have been more private, show that discomfort over the 1MDB affair is spilling over into Malaysia's elite.

On Instagram, Mr Nazir said the country needed to "fix our moral compass and deal with our structural problems".

He called for a national consultative council, an institution last set up during a period of sectarian violence in Malaysia in 1969. During the crisis, Malaysia's first post-independence prime minister resigned and a new government was formed.

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In an emailed response to the Financial Times, Mr Nazir said there was support for his proposal "except no one trusts that today's government will do it genuinely".

Mr Nazir, who warned last year that the 1MDB scandal was deterring foreign investors, has never been so blunt.

In a newspaper article in 2014, he subtly criticised his brother by praising the frugal lifestyle of their father, who was Malaysia's second prime minister.

In the article he recalled when his brothers, as boys, asked their father to build a swimming pool at the prime minister's residence.

Mr Nazir wrote: "Anything spent on it would have to come from public funds, and there was no way he was going to allow the state coffers to be depleted on something as frivolous as a swimming pool."

Rosmah Mansor, the prime minister's wife, is a frequent target of criticism on social media for her lifestyle; images of her carrying Hermès Birkin bags have gone viral. The prime minister's supporters dismiss these attacks as politically motivated.

Mr Nazir stepped down as chief executive of CIMB, Malaysia's second-biggest bank by assets, in 2014, and assumed the position of chairman.