By Joseph Sipalan
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 ― The identity of the donor behind the RM2.6 billion deposited into Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s private bank accounts cannot be revealed as the case is still being investigated by Malaysian authorities, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
In a prepared statement by the prime minister that was read out by his deputy Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, it was explained that the Attorney-General has advised against making any statements that could have an effect on the ongoing probe by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“However, we feel that we must inform the House that the MACC has identified the donor, and that Bank Negara Malaysia has also been informed on the opening of the bank account,” said the statement that was read out after Question time.
Najib in his statement stressed that there is no law in the country that outlaws or mandates a declaration of political donations, and that it is not a new issue. He added that he had previously mooted a mechanism to monitor political funding, but claimed that it was rejected by the opposition.
“Until now, there is no mechanism to monitor political funding but since there is a public outcry, the government has created the National Consultative Committee on Political Fundings,” Najib said.
The Najib administration had previously promised to answer all questions surrounding the RM2.6 billion donation controversy, saying it will do so today, the final day of the current Dewan Rakyat session.
On November 5, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said all questions on the issue will be dealt with in “one go.” Najib is currently facing pressure over a number of controversies, chiefly that surrounding 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the RM2.6 billion donation he received in his bank accounts.
The RM2.6 billion figure first surfaced through a US-based paper Wall Street Journal’s report in July on the purported discovery by government investigators of a money trail of that amount ending in Najib’s accounts.
Najib has said that he has not taken public funds for personal gain, but the RM2.6 billion controversy has remained the centre of media and public attention. The RM2.6 billion was later declared to be a donation by the MACC from Middle Eastern donors whose identities were not revealed, however. – Malay Mail Online