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nald Trump is getting ready to roll out the red carpet for one of Asia's most controversial leaders. The White House confirming Najib Razak will visit in September. The Malaysian Prime Minister is neck-deep in a massive corruption scandal at home. A fund he set up called 1MDB is facing many laundering investigations in at least six countries, including the United States.
Najib himself faces accusations of siphoning nearly $700 million from the fund. Reuters Malaysia Bureau Chief, Praveen Menon, explains why Washington wants to keep him onside.>> The US has great strategic interest in Southeast Asia. It sees Malaysia as a key ally in standing up against China's extensive territorial claims in the South China Sea.
Plus the other angle is also that the US's fight against a radical Islam. Najib is seen as a moderate Muslim leader whose prominently moderate Islam. And for that the US seeks their support for intelligence and other antiterrorism activities.>> But Najib's image as moderate in this Muslim majority country has taken a hit.
His party looking for support among some radical right wing groups as elections approach. Analysts say his upcoming trip to Washington might help fix some of the damage.>> What he gets from this visit with Trump is support from the US for his position. He will try to tidy up his image and rebuild his international image as a moderate, reform friendly Prime Minister.
And he will also perhaps try and slow down the process of investigation into 1MDB or try and see how he can ensure that no further investigation are done into 1MDB.>> The Department of Justice has tried to seize a total of about $1.7 billion in assets it says were bought with money stolen from the fund.