Asia

UMNO grassroot members lodge report with Registrar of Societies over RM2.6 billion donation

UMNO grassroot members lodge report with Registrar of Societies over RM2.6 billion donation
A maintenance worker works near a portrait of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak during the 69th United Malays National Organisation's (UMNO) general assembly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. Photo: AP
Published: 7:17 PM, December 8, 2015

SINGAPORE — A group of UMNO grassroots members have filed a report with the Registrar of Societies (RoS) over the RM2.6 billion (S$856.6 million) channelled into the party president’s personal bank accounts, Malaysiakini reported.

The group of party branch chiefs, Gabungan Ketua Cawangan Malaysia (GKCM), wants RoS to investigate the donation given to Mr Najib Razak, who is also the prime minister.

Malaysiakini quoted the group’s spokesman Kamarul Azman Habibur Rahman as saying that the party’s financial statements for 2013 and 2014 did not mention the RM2.6 billion.

Mr Kamarul Azman also said the group was from the Teluk Kemang UMNO branch and it sent a letter to RoS urging a probe into the donation.

The move comes in the heels of the UMNO general assembly which begins today (Dec 8). Mr Najib has been under pressure to account for the RM2.6 billion, including from party leaders, such as deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin and former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

GKCM was launched late last month to seek the ouster of Mr Najib as party president, and claims to have the support of UMNO’s grassroots leaders nationwide.

The RM2.6 billion were transferred in batches between 2013 and February this year, according to The Wall Street Journal which first broke the story, citing documents from Malaysian investigators, on July 2 this year.

The largest portion of the funds — US$681 million — was transferred into Mr Najib’s accounts in AmBank in Malaysia through a British Virgin Islands Company and Falcon Private Bank in Singapore, in March 2013, before the 13th general election in May that year.

The rest was channelled between December last year and February this year through entities linked to Mr Najib’s brainchild, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Mr Najib has denied taking funds from 1MDB for personal gain and the money was later declared by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to be a political donation from a Middle Eastern source.

MACC said it recorded Mr Najib’s statement in connection with the funds over the weekend.

A former UMNO member, Mr Anina Saadudin, has also filed a suit against Mr Najib to compel him to account for the RM2.6 billion donation. She was later sacked from the party. THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER