Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has a new political problem to contend with.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that he received a 2.6-billion ringgit (CDN$873 million) donation to his personal bank account.
The country's anticorruption commission has stated that it cannot say who made the contribution, but revealed that it came from the Middle East.
Najib has reportedly denied taking money for personal gain in the past.
Why should all of this matter to British Columbians?
As Malaysia's prime minister, Najib has a big say over the state-owned energy company, Petronas. It has controlling interest in the company behind a proposed massive liquefied-natural-gas plant near Prince Rupert.
This summer, the B.C. legislature was reconvened to pass Bill 30 (Liquefied Natural Gas Projects Agreement Act).
This legislation was crafted to provide long-term certainty to Pacific NorthWest LNG consortium, of which a Petronas subsidiary holds a 62 percent stake.
Late last month, Finance Minister Mike de Jong travelled to Malaysia and met Najib.
But if this new scandal in Malaysia has any traction, it could turn out that de Jong travelled halfway around the world to talk to a lame duck.
In December, the Nikkei Asian Review reported that Najib was going to extend the term of Petronas CEO Shamsul Azhar Abbas.
Shamsul was at the helm when Petronas bought the Canadian company, Progress Energy, and was prepared to invest a reported $36 billion into the Canadian economy.
But effective April 1, Shamsul was replaced by Datuk W. Zulkiflee W. Ariffin as Petronas's president and CEO.
And now, Shamsul's political patron, Prime Minister Najib, may be in the fight of his political life.
Meanwhile, LNG prices in Asia have fallen dramatically since the 2013 B.C. election campaign.
These are not good omens for Premier Christy Clark as she bets her political career on the future of B.C.'s LNG industry.