MACC confirms Najib’s RM2.6b donors from Middle East but says can’t reveal names

According to MACC, it had found four letters that were given to the bank when the RM2.6 billion amount was deposited into Najib’s account. — Reuters pic
According to MACC, it had found four letters that were given to the bank when the RM2.6 billion amount was deposited into Najib’s account. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 — The donors who deposited RM2.6 billion into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bank accounts are from the Middle East, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) confirmed today, although it said their identities cannot be disclosed.

In a statement, the commission said it had found out about the donors’ details through bank documents.

“MACC has obtained explanation from the donors who originated from the Middle East and they have verified the donation.

“The RM2.6 billion donation has no connection at all to 1MDB,” the anti-graft commission said in the statement.

According to MACC, it had found four letters that were given to the bank when the RM2.6 billion amount was deposited into Najib’s account, with the bank documents stating that the contribution was a “donation”.

The MACC also said it had discussed with the Attorney-General before making this clarification.

“A discussion was also held with the Attorney-General of Malaysia that asked that MACC give an explanation about this matter while investigation is still ongoing,” it said.

It also said that Najib would be asked to provide an explanation to the MACC regarding the donation.

MACC had on Monday issued a statement to confirm the existence of the funds in Najib’s accounts and clarify that they had come from donors and not 1MDB as previously alleged.

The statement triggered a flurry of responses from activists and opposition lawmakers, who demanded that the commission investigate the donation for possible corruption and money-laundering.

The commission and Najib himself have also been urged to reveal the identities of the donors and the purpose of the funds.

It was previously alleged that the funds were used for Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Election 2013 campaigns but detractors have pointed out that this would be illegal as RM2.6 billion far surpasses the legal limit allowed by Malaysia’s election laws.

In a report on July 2, US-based daily Wall Street Journal (WSJ), citing documents from Malaysian investigators currently scrutinising the troubled 1MDB’s financials, claimed that a money trail showed that US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) was moved among government agencies, banks and companies before it ended up in Najib’s accounts, two months before the 13th general election in May 2013.

In Election 2013, Barisan Nasional (BN) contested 221 parliamentary seats and 505 state seats.

The Election Offences Act 1954 prohibits candidates from spending more than RM200,000 in elections for parliamentary seats and more than RM100,000 for state seats.

This means that the ruling coalition had a spending limit of RM94.7 million in the 13th general election.