JOHOR BARU, June 21 — Johor Umno deputy chief Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed today criticised the civil forfeiture suit filed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), describing it as a politically-motivated move to bring down Umno.
He claimed that the latest action is a political maneuver amid current fractures and impasse faced by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government over its first year of ruling the country.
“The MACC’s civil forfeiture suit will paint a positive picture where the ruling government hopes to shore-up support to show that PH as a ruling coalition can perform better.
“At the same time, it is also a way for the government to appease the public as pressure mounts on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) investigation that has taken about a year without much result,” said Nur Jazlan when contacted by Malay Mail today.
He was responding to Johor Umno being among the 41 recipients that were named by MACC earlier today as having benefitted from scandal-tainted 1MDB.
Despite his criticisms, Nur Jazlan said Johor Umno will corporate and abide by the MACC’s latest action.
However, the former deputy home minister and parliamentarian echoed the party’s acting president Datuk Mohamad Hasan’s sentiments, saying that the party will also fight the forfeiture in court.
“From what we (Johor Umno) know, the funds came direct from Umno’s headquarters and we as members from the state chapter have no reason to believe otherwise,” said Jazlan, who is also the Pulai Umno division chief.
In June last year, Johor Umno was hit by the 1MDB investigation, which saw MACC freeze several of the party’s division and individual member accounts. Following that, in August the same year, Johor Umno was ordered to surrender its entire fleet of “Skuad Sayang” vans to the police for investigation under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act (AMLA) 2001.
Earlier today, MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said the anti-graft agency is trying to recover some RM270 million belonging to 1MDB that was dispersed from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s AmBank account via 41 civil forfeiture suits.
The lawsuits were filed two days ago against individuals and entities including political parties.
Of the RM270 million, RM212 million (78.5 per cent) was being sought from Umno divisions. Johor Umno has been named as among the party’s state recipients.