KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 — Umno acting president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan today admitted that he did not know how to explain the issues surrounding 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), as he too did not have a clear understanding of what transpired.
During a Sinar Harian forum today, Mohamad was asked by moderator Tan Sri Johan Jaafar to state one reason why people loathed Umno.
A smiling Mohamad admitted that 1MDB was the main issue, among others.
“I don’t mind telling you. The 1MDB factor was one of the reasons that made people mad.
“I myself don’t know what 1MDB is. So what to do then?” Mohamad replied.
“I, being on the state level, I didn’t know. Even at the federal level, many ministers too didn’t know, because the scheme was done as such. Not many know, so how do we then explain it?
“Although many explanations have been given to us, we still don’t know how to explain it to people,” Mohamad said when Johan asked why the issues surrounding 1MDB were left to fester, leading to Umno’s downfall.
Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was the chairman of 1MDB’s advisory board when Barisan Nasional (BN) was in power.
The state investment firm has since been marred by several accusations of fund misappropriation, with Najib facing several charges in relation to the fund.
Najib will go on trial on February 12 on charges linked to 1MDB.
Last month, Bernama reported that the High Court here was told that the prosecution had handed over 421 documents against Najib, involving RM2.28 billion of 1MDB’s funds, to the defence.
The Pakatan Harapan administration is seeking to recoup some of the stolen funds from 1MDB, much of which had been used to buy properties, expensive artworks or stashed in accounts all over the world.
In September last year, a Singapore court ordered the return to Malaysia of about S$15.3 million (RM45.9 million), just a small portion of the total seized in the republic.