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KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — Armada, the Youth wing of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), today issued a statement defending the concerns voiced by party chairman, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, over Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz’s money-laundering settlement.
In the statement, Armada stated that Dr Mahathir’s comments were justified as he was representing the view of fellow Malaysians who are concerned over the development of the case.
“Armada Malaysia would like to emphasise here that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has taken up his role as a member of Parliament representing all Malaysians in questioning Riza Aziz’s Discharge Not Amounting to Acquittal. Armada believes that Tun Dr Mahathir’s statement is correct given that this is a very sensitive and well-regarded case for all Malaysians.
“Armada also wants to emphasise that this is an issue that is closely linked to monies belonging to Malaysians that have been stolen through 1MDB. The Malaysian government especially the Attorney General’s Chambers should state why they agree and are satisfied with receiving only RM465.3 million from the total amount that was alleged to be RM1.25 billion,” said the statement.
Armada’s statement was in response to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan’s retort that Dr Mahathir should not act like a “hypocrite” by saying that he was “puzzled” and confused by the settlement.
On May 14, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said the Malaysian government is expected to recover an estimated US$107.3 million (RM465.3 million) worth of overseas assets involved in the money-laundering charges as a result of the settlement, with the agreement also requiring Riza to pay a compound to the government as an alternative to the charges.
To make matters worse, former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas had also dismissed claims by the MACC that he had agreed to the plea bargain previously.
“The case was further exacerbated when former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas dismissed the MACC’s claim and asserted that he was not the one considering and agreed to the offer of recovering RM465.3 million in assets.
“Armada opined that Datuk Takiyuddin’s statement that this legal action was taken based on the law is extremely unethical especially when the people start comparing it to other cases of theft,” said Armada.
On July 5 of last year, Riza was charged with five counts of money-laundering under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 (AMLATFA).