‘Bersih 4.0’ rally if no answers on PM’s alleged embezzlement, polls watchdog warns

Maria Chin Abdullah said Bersih 2.0 will call for a mass rally if the authorities failed to satisfactorily investigate the Wall Street Journal’s allegations against the prime minister. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Maria Chin Abdullah said Bersih 2.0 will call for a mass rally if the authorities failed to satisfactorily investigate the Wall Street Journal’s allegations against the prime minister. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — Bersih 2.0 will take to the streets and organise its fourth mass rally if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak does not adequately address the allegations of embezzlement against him in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), group chairman Maria Chin Abdullah said today.

The activist added that Najib must also immediately take a leave of absence from all his government positions to allow investigators to trace the trail of billions of ringgit allegedly wired from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) into the prime minister’s personal bank accounts.

“Najib must reveal to the public the details of his bank accounts and explain whether the AmBank accounts under his name exist. If they do, then show the transaction details of that day,” news portal the Malaysian Insider quoted Maria as saying today.

She added that the accounts of Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor as well as the bank accounts of his children should also be frozen throughout the investigation.

Maria also urged for efficiency, saying that the investigation by the authorities should be done within one month and then released to the public.

“The results of the investigations by Bank Negara Malaysia, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on 1MDB and related companies must be disclosed to the public immediately,” she said.

She added that Bersih 2.0 is considering holding another rally, much like the first three mass gatherings held previously to demand fair polls, but will only make a decision once the probe is complete and only if the investigation does not provide the public with adequate answers.

“If after a month nothing happens, and none of the public institutions want to tell us what is happening, everyone will be furious.

“We won’t be the only ones calling for Bersih 4 – the people will want it too,” she claimed.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee member Dr Wong Chin Huat added that calling for the prime minister’s resignation without first clearing up speculation about the alleged embezzlement was counterintuitive as leaving the issue unresolved would create another crisis.

“Bersih is not just about changing the prime minister. If we change the prime minister without solving these four things, we will have a new crisis,” he said.

In a report Friday, the WSJ said 1MDB investigators have discovered five separate deposits from two sources that were made into Najib’s accounts, citing government documents that it claimed to have viewed.

The largest two transactions, it said, were for US$621 million (RM2.3 billion) and US$61 million allegedly made in March 2013, shortly before the tumultuous Election 2013 in May.

A further transfer of RM42 million, purportedly made into Najib’s account at the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015, is believed to have come from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1MDB that was in 2012 parked under the Finance Ministry that Najib heads, WSJ said.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has since urged four federal agencies to work together and scrutinise the allegations against the PM and stained the country’s name.

Moments after, the public prosecutor issued a statement saying a special task force was set up and began investigations the same day WSJ ran its story, adding that more documents have been taken from three companies linked to 1MDB that had been incriminated.

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