KOTA KINABALU: Upko has returned the RM1mil linked to the missing 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds.
Upko president Datuk Madius Tangau (pic) said that they returned the money about a month before the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) began civil proceedings to recover about RM270mil from some 41 recipients and entities under the Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
The monies disbursed were from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's personal bank account.
"We did not know the source of the money. It was given to us to undertake community projects, said Tangau.
"Our accounts were also frozen following the investigations and we decided to return the money to avoid any civil action suits," he added.
Tangau, whose Upko was part of the Sabah Barisan Nasional government, left the coalition to form a pact with Parti Warisan Sabah, following last year's May 9 General Election.
The Sabah Deputy Chief Minister said that when the money came in, they found it insufficient for the planned programme.
"We decided to run the programme our own way and kept the money (RM1mil) in a fixed deposit," he said on Friday (June 28).
The party had no problem in deciding to return the funds to the government, he added.
Questions on why MACC did not take action against Upko were raised by other political parties as MACC pushed to recover from two other former Sabah Barisan components - Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) led by Tan Sri Joseph Kurup (RM1mil) and Liberal Democratic Party (RM509,560) as well as Sabah Umno (RM1.25mil).
Former federal minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam, was the only individual from Sabah named among the 41 recipents and entities listed by the MACC.
Kasitah, who is in Ranau, told a local daily recently that he had received the money in good faith and had already spent it.
Kasitah had received RM154,757.