Soon after his win, Malaysia's new prime minister reopened the 1MDB investigations and vowed that Mr Najib "would face the consequences" if he was found to have broken any laws.
If convicted, each of the four charges could see the former prime minister jailed for up to 20 years.
Billions of dollars are still unaccounted for.
In court, the former leader appeared exhausted and hung his head often during proceedings.
But Najib also reportedly received $680 million from 1MDB itself, a claim that started a financial scandal in 2015 which eventually led to this year's election defeat.
Najib's wife, Rosmah, has also been quizzed by anti-graft investigators in relation to 1MDB and Najib's stepson, Riza Aziz, was giving a statement to the MACC when news broke of Najib's arrest.
"As a public official, which is prime minister and minister of finance, used your position for self gratification (for a) total of 42 million ringgit", Attorney General Tommy said referring to the abuse of power charge.
At present, it is understood that High Court judge Datuk Mohd Sofian Abdul Razak has allowed bail at RM1 million cash for all charges, with his two passports to be surrendered to court.
Najib Razak walks into a courtroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he was charged with corruption offences.
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The court set a tentative date for the trial, beginning in February 2019.
On the gag order sought by the defence, Shafee said it was to stop anyone from making statements to the media and to avoid interfering with the court proceedings.
Thomas had to move the venue of his press briefing to a different part of the building after Najib supporters heckled him and demanded that he speak in Malay, the country's national language.
"We didn't know who were the main people who were putting the pressure on Macc, but there were many of them", another Macc official said. We should all really learn something from the Japanese football players in the recent World Cup!
It has been alleged that out of billions of ringgit found in his personal bank accounts, RM42 million is believed to have been transferred from SRC International.
Najib, 64, denies any wrongdoing and has accused the new government of seeking "political vengeance". "It is a test from Allah", the former leader's daughter-in-law Nur Sharmila Shaheen told AFP, using an honorific title, adding her father-in-law was "calm".
U.S. investigators say $US4.5 billion ($6.1 billion) was stolen and laundered from 1MDB by Mr Najib's associates, including some $US700 million ($945 million) that landed in Mr Najib's bank account.
A spokesman for Najib said on Tuesday that the SRC charges and the 1MDB investigations against the former leader were "politically motivated", and that Najib will contest the charges and clear his name in court.
US investigators allege that Najib's stepson's company, "Red Granite Pictures Inc., used money stolen from 1MDB to finance Hollywood films including the Martin Scorsese-directed 'The Wolf of Wall Street, ' " according to the AP.