PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed has denied allegations that he was one of the Umno MPs who had left the party to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia to avoid being investigated for graft, and says he is prepared to cooperate with authorities looking into the matter.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department issued the strong denial a day after Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi alleged during the latter’s corruption trial that the Jeli MP had misappropriated funds while he was holding the Kelantan Umno liaison chief position.
“All party funds, including those for elections, were managed by the respective committees of the liaison bodies according to party guidelines,” Mustapa said in a statement yesterday.
It was issued in response to Ahmad Zahid’s testimony at his trial in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, where he said that after Barisan Nasional’s loss in the 14th General Election in May 2018, three Umno MPs had joined Bersatu to avoid being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and charged in court for criminal activity.He named them as the MPs of Masjid Tanah (Melaka), Jeli and Bagan Serai (Perak).
Ahmad Zahid claimed that the Jeli MP had taken over RM30mil meant to fund the election machinery in Kelantan, in particular on logistics to bring home Kelantan natives from the Klang Valley to vote, but the money was not used for that purpose.
He did not name the MPs, but Mustapa is the Jeli MP while Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin is the MP for Masjid Tanah and Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali is the Bagan Serai MP.In his statement, Mustapa explained that after GE14, he was summoned twice by the authorities to provide his statement at the end of 2018 and in early 2019.
“As a former Cabinet member, I was asked to give my statement to MACC regarding the minutes of Cabinet meetings related to the Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline project.
“As the former Kelantan Umno liaison chief, I was also told to give my statement to the police regarding funds channelled to Kelantan Umno, believed to come from 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
“I also have never received pressure from any party to join Bersatu and never misappropriated Kelantan Umno’s funds for the purpose of GE14. I’m ready to cooperate with the authorities,” Mustapa added.