'Cruel' court cases reason for Umno's gripe with PN, reveals Ahmad Maslan

'Cruel' court cases reason for Umno's gripe with PN, reveals Ahmad Maslan
'Cruel' court cases reason for Umno's gripe with PN, reveals Ahmad Maslan

One of Umno's key gripes with Perikatan Nasional is the latter's decision to continue with court cases against the party and its leaders, revealed its secretary-general Ahmad Maslan.

Ahmad - who is one of Umno leaders taken to court - said this outweighed the party's dissatisfaction over positions in the government.

"One more dissatisfaction is not so much about positions but that the government now is continuing the cruelty of the past government.

"This should not be [...] these cases brought to court were the cruelty from the time of (former prime minister) Dr Mahathir Mohamad, (former attorney-general) Tommy Thomas and (former MACC chief) Latheefa Koya.

"Mahathir is no longer in government, and I don't know where Thomas and Latheefa have gone but why have these cases continued?" he asked during a dialogue on Monday.

He added that continuing the charges against Umno leaders meant the current government is also cruel, thus necessitating a general election so a new government can be elected.

Ahmad is on trial for failing to declare RM2 million in income tax for 2013 over payments he received from then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Najib (left) with Zahid
Najib (left) with Zahid

Besides Ahmad, other Umno leaders on trial for corruption include party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and former Felda chairperson Shahrir Samad.

When the PN government was formed in March last year, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin stressed that he would keep a clean cabinet and continue an anti-corruption agenda.

During the dialogue event, Ahmad - who is Pontian MP - cited the compounds and forfeiture suits initiated by the MACC against those accused of receiving 1MDB-linked funds from Najib as an example.

The compounds were issued under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (Amla).

"There was one who received RM50,000 from the president (Najib) but was told to pay a compound of RM2.5 million," he claimed.

This is unlikely to be true.

Section 92(1) of AMLA states that compounds can only be a maximum of 2.5 times the amount received.

This means receiving RM50,000 of illicit funds can only be punished with a compound of up to RM125,000.

However, one Umno leader - Shahrir Samad - was issued a RM2.5 million compound.

Shahrir was accused of money laundering in receiving RM1 million of 1MDB-linked funds from Najib and was offered to pay a compound of RM2.5 million by the MACC.

He is challenging the matter in court.

The Umno supreme council will be meeting today to discuss a motion backed by 189 party divisions to sever ties with Bersatu in the next general election.