KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — Aman Palestin’s bank accounts cannot be unfrozen as investigations against the group remain active, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said after ex-prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad called for these to be released.

According to Utusan Malaysia, MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki said his investigators were still working to decipher the group’s funds and transactions.

“As a corruption prevention agency, the MACC definitely takes this case seriously because it involves public interest.

“This case also shows that donations from the public cannot be used for the benefit of certain individuals,” he was quoted as saying.

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Yesterday, Dr Mahathir called for the accounts to be unfrozen ostensibly so that Aman Palestin could provide aid to Palestinians whom he said would soon face winter amid continued Israeli attacks.

Last week, the MACC said it froze 41 bank accounts linked to Aman Palestin and several other companies for the investigation into the alleged misappropriation of RM70 million by the charity organisation.

Aman Palestin later demanded the release of the accounts, and threatened to sue to regain access.

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Formed in 2004, the Bangi-based Aman Palestin’s website said it was formed to collect donations and channel these to those affected by conflicts in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.

Its executive director is Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman, formerly the president of the controversial Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma). Another director, Zaini Awang, is also an Isma leader while its adviser Zainur Rashid is currently Isma’s vice-president.