KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today brushed aside claims made by Umno accusing the government of attempting to bankrupt the party through the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) civil forfeiture suits to recover money belonging to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Dr Mahathir said if the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government wanted to bankrupt the party, it would have been done so much earlier when asked if it was the government’s intention to do so.
“No question. If we wanted to bankrupt [Umno] we could have done that earlier, much earlier,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the 20th Asia Oil and Gas Conference held in KLCC here.
He also reiterated that Umno took stolen monies and distributed it to its divisions in explaining the civil forfeiture suit against the former ruling party.
“Money that they have stolen must be returned, not to Umno but to the government as it is the government’s money that were stolen by Najib,” he said.
Yesterday, Umno Veteran’s Club secretary-general Mustapha Yaakub reportedly claimed the civil forfeiture suit against Umno was a bid by PH to bankrupt the party.
He claimed that Umno’s assets will then be placed in the Insolvency Department, and accused the government of using the suit to distract the people from the sex scandal involving Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
Dr Mahathir also took a jibe at Datuk Seri Najib Razak, remarking that the Pekan MP was going around with his everyman persona “Bossku” despite being hit with a slew of corruption, money-laundering, abuse of power and criminal breach of trusts charges since July 2018.
The former prime minister is currently on trial involving seven charges of abuse of position, criminal breach of trust and money-laundering over RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds.
Last Friday, MACC chief Latheefa Koya in a press conference said the MACC have succeeded in filing a forfeiture application under the Anti-Money Laundering Act to forfeit properties and monies that was dispersed or misused from 1MDB.
She said MACC have identified 41 individuals or entities as respondents and filed the case in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.
The plan according to Latheefa was to recover at least RM270 million from monies given out to various individuals or entities. This includes political parties and Umno branches or divisions, companies and individuals.
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