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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2, 2015:Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak celebrates differences in opinion but prefers for them to be voiced out in closed door meetings than in public, said newly minted Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. In an exclusive interview with the New Straits Times today, Ahmad Zahid said that Najib being educated abroad, was exposed to a different culture which promoted internal discussion between Cabinet members than a public one. “He (Najib) is a very kind-hearted man. Although he celebrates differences of opinion, I think he recognised one thing, that any differences should be spoken directly to him and not openly, especially in public.” He also told the daily that Cabinet responsibility was a collective decision and there needed to be oneness in voicing decisions made by the Cabinet. “Cabinet members are subjected to secrecy and any differences in opinion during discussions in the Cabinet should not be made known to the public. “So when the Cabinet decides (on something) we have to follow the decision and I reckon the PM needs this kind of support. “Any Prime Minister, for that matter, demands oneness, one voice… togetherness in any decision, especially in following through with what is decided by the Cabinet members.” When the daily asked if this was especially important in regards to allegations made against national sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Ahmad Zahid who is also the Home Minister responded by saying that the explanations have been done. “But I think in terms of creating awareness, some managing of perception has to be done. “As a former banker and having been given the opportunity to run a few public listed companies, I understand.” He added that 1MDB in the first place was over geared and started with little seed capital but any assets it has, is collateralised. He also said that the troubled state investment arm could have a healthy future if it was run and managed professionally and transparently. “But it doesn’t mean we have to disclose all operations and transactions to the public.” 1MDB has had several allegations and controversies surrounding it especially when a recent report published by international news agency the Wall Street Journal and whistle-blower site Sarawak Reportalleged that around RM2.6 billion were transferred by the fund’s former subsidiary company into Najib’s personal account. Najib had immediately refuted ever using the public money for his personal gain.

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