KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 ― The controversial RM2.6 billion donation from unnamed donors in the Middle East was given to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to help Umno fight “Jewish-backed” DAP, an Umno leader in Johor reportedly claimed today.
The leader, Sri Gading Umno chief Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi, was quoted in Malaysiakini as saying at his division's meeting this morning that this was because DAP is seen as a threat to Islam in the country.
“If we had lost in the elections, Jewish-backed DAP would have been in power... Fellow Muslim leaders recognised the DAP threat.
“If Malaysia's Muslim government fell, the world's Islamic struggle will crumble,” he was quoted by the news portal as saying.
Abdul Aziz, who is also a deputy minister, was quoted in another news portal, The Malaysian Insider, as pointing out that Najib is seen in the region as a notable Muslim leader.
It was previously speculated that the RM2.6 billion found in Najib's private accounts had originated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a brainchild of the prime minister's that is currently under probe for alleged financial irregularities.
But the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) recently refuted this, saying the funds had come from donors from the Middle East. The commission did not, however, reveal the identity or identities of the donors.
The agency’s statement came over a month after the Wall Street Journal ran a news report alleging that the money was channeled into Najib's private account through government agencies.
It has also been alleged that the funds may have been used for Barisan Nasional’s general election campaign in 2013.
Despite the MACC's explanation, however, Najib has continued to receive criticism for holding the funds on behalf of the party.
He recently hit back at his detractors, pointing out that the MACC had already verified that the money was not linked to 1MDB.
Najib also said he was prepared to present the Umno accounts to the general public provided the opposition parties also did the same.
Last weekend, Kuantan Umno division chief Wan Adnan Wan Mamat reportedly claimed that the RM2.6 billion originated from Saudi Arabia, and that it was a sign of appreciation for Malaysia's role in combating the Islamic State (IS).
“It was an appreciation to Malaysia for championing Islam and for practising Sunni Islam (Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah),” Malay-language daily Sinar Harian quoted the leader as saying.
Wan Adnan was also quoted as saying that this was mentioned to 146 Umno division leaders in a meeting with Najib last Wednesday.