KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 ― Malaysia’s independence and sovereignty are under threat with a RM2.6 billion donation to the prime minister that reportedly came from an Arab family, federal opposition lawmaker Tony Pua said today ahead of Merdeka Day.
The DAP MP noted that Barisan Nasional’s (BN) “marginal victory” in the 13th general election, in which the ruling coalition lost the popular vote, proved that a foreign country had determined the outcome of the contentious election.
“In the light of the Merdeka and Malaysia Day celebrations, we must demand that our stolen independence be returned to us,” Pua said in a statement.
“Malaysians must reclaim the country from the hands of those who have connived with foreign powers to sacrifice our sovereignty. Malaysians must be allowed to chart our own future and destiny by Malaysians alone, with our own sweat and money,” the Petaling Jaya Utara MP said, adding that he would be marching at the Bersih 4 rally this weekend not just to celebrate Merdeka, but also to defend the spirit of the country’s independence day.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also Umno vice-president, said last Saturday that the Arabs who had contributed US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) to Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s accounts wanted Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) to continue ruling the country.
He also claimed that the donation was made to express thanks for Malaysia’s fight against terrorism.
“If the Arabs do indeed appreciate the country’s efforts to counter terrorism and are keen to contribute to the cause as claimed, then the foreign aid must go into the government’s coffers and not be secretly deposited into the private bank account of the prime minister!” Pua said in response.
“When such obscene sums are ‘donated’ into the personal bank account of the prime minister and/or the ruling party Umno under such suspicious and clandestine manner, then our political leaders have been severely compromised.
Regardless of the cause or excuses provided, it becomes a bribe to our local politicians to pander to the interest of the foreign power,” the DAP publicity chief added.
US daily the Wall Street Journal reported last month that almost US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) was channeled through various companies linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and ended up in Najib’s personal bank accounts in March 2013, two months before the 13th general election.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said recently that the RM2.6 billion did not come from 1MDB, but was a donation from Middle Eastern donors.