GEORGE TOWN, June 25 — A Penang journalist union that had received funds from the 1Malaysia-Penang Welfare Club in 2013 is willing to return the money allegedly linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Penang Press Club president Wong Soon Eng said it was willing to return the money through proper channels.
“We will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday and the committee will decide on how to refund the money,” he said when contacted.
He was responding to comments by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng that journalists’ unions in Penang had received money from an organisation linked to 1MDB.
Lim had also advised the unions to return the money.
Back in 2013, the mysterious 1Malaysia-Penang Welfare Club gave out contributions to a number of non-governmental organisations (NGO), including the three journalists groups in Penang.
The contributions were among the many pro-Barisan Nasional activities organised by the 1Malaysia-Penang Welfare Club in the run up to the 13th general election that year.
The Journalists Union of North Malaya and Penang Chinese Newspaper Reporters and Photographers Association (Pewaju) were the other two journalists’ groups that received the money.
Each of the journalists’ organisations had received RM50,000 at that time.
Last year, Pewaju reportedly said the RM50,000 was donated to two charitable causes in 2015.
When contacted, Pewaju’s current chairperson Chuah Chee Ling preferred not to comment on the issue.
Similarly, the Journalists Union of North Malaya has refused to comment on the issue.