KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — Whistleblower site Sarawak Report (SR) claimed today that Islamist party PAS used funds from Umno to pay its candidates’ election deposits in the May 9 polls last year.
Its article accused Umno of “secretly paying” PAS to contest several seats, which later led to both parties’ cooperation right after the conclusion of the general election which saw Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) defeated by Pakatan Harapan (PH).
“Sarawak Report has now received confirmation that this money paid to PAS was used to pay for several of PAS’ record numbers of election deposits at GE14, together with another million or so ringgit that was apparently later also deposited in cash by Umno into PAS accounts around the same time in the same way,” the report said.
SR said it has submitted further evidence in the previous defamation lawsuit against its editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, that an Umno proxy deposited a bag containing RM2.5 million into Bank Islam before transferring the cash into PAS’ bank accounts.
PAS has admitted receiving the money but denied it came from Umno.
However, SR did not publish any document backing its allegation.
It also did not list the name or number of seats where the deposits were allegedly paid using the money.
A deposit of RM10,000 is required to contest a parliamentary seat and RM5,000 for a state assembly seat.
PAS contested 158 seats in GE14 but won only 18 — just over one in 10 of the total up for contest.
The Islamist party’s contest in those seats had caused at least three-way fights with PH and BN.
In comparison, it had contested just 73 seats in 2013, winning 21 or nearly three in 10 seats contested. In 2008, it contested 66 seats and won 23.