KOTA KINABALU, April 29 — Upko said today it wanted but was unable to return the RM1 million it received from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak because its account was frozen.
Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, president of the former Barisan Nasional (BN) party that is now part of the Sabah state government, said Upko has not used the money and wanted to return it, but the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has frozen their account.
“Upko’s account was frozen since the new government took over,” he said, when asked by reporters at a function here today.
Tangau, who is Sabah deputy chief minister, said the money given by Najib in 2015 was meant for a “Jalinan Kasih” programme that never kicked off since “the amount was insufficient.”
“If we follow the way how Umno did the programme, the amount is not sufficient.
“We never spent the money, it is still there. We have put it in our fixed deposit account and I have told MACC that I can write a cheque to return it. But, Upko needs its account to be unfrozen first,” he said.
Tangau said that since MACC has declined to do so, the party was trying to raise the money from other sources. He said Upko has been operating on a hand-to-mouth basis.
Recently, it was revealed during Najib’s trial that Upko was among 15 recipients of cheques totalling over RM10.77 million issued under two AmIslamic Bank accounts that were registered under Najib’s name.
Former Upko treasurer Datuk Marcus Mojigoh testified and confirmed that the party had received a cheque dated Feb 13, 2015 and said that Najib had personally issued the cheque in front of him at Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya at that time.
Upko was a former BN component party, but left the coalition after the 14th general election which BN had lost to align itself with Parti Warisan Sabah and gave them enough representation to form the state government.