Political donors in Bersatu probed

PUTRAJAYA: Several people believed to be political donors to Bersatu have been summoned to explain their contributions to the party.

Sources with knowledge of the investigation said they were among the people called up after graft investigators froze the party’s accounts.

“Aside from Bersatu officials, investigators also called up political contributors.

“Investigators wanted to find out if their contributions were in view of projects or contracts awarded to them or if they were given assurances of future projects,” said one source.

However, it could not be determined how many of Bersatu’s political contributors had been called up for their statements to be recorded.

Earlier reports suggested that Bersatu had received donations from about 10 contractors said to have been awarded various public projects when the party was in government.

The same source said it was unlikely that the frozen accounts would be released any time soon, despite having received a request from Bersatu, as investigations were still ongoing.

“There are still issues that need to be answered with regard to the money that was deposited into Bersatu’s accounts.

“There are also more individuals that need to be called,” said a source.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) recently confirmed the suspension of Bersatu’s bank accounts to allow for a probe be carried out under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act.

It also confirmed that the probe was not related to the Covid-19 stimulus package funds.Graft investigators had frozen the accounts of Bersatu to look into its money flow and the RM300mil the party was said to have received, which they believed came from contractors who had been awarded projects under the past administration.

According to sources, about RM40mil was left in the accounts when they were frozen by investigators.

Bersatu had asked for the MACC to lift the freeze on its bank accounts last week.

Meanwhile, Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the party had yet to receive a response from the MACC on its request to lift the freeze order.

“I am very much aware of the procedure. The MACC will have its team look into the matter.

“That’s fair. We should allow the authorities some time, although it is affecting our movements and activities,” he said.

However, he said the government should not use enforcement bodies such as the MACC to pressure its political opponents.

“This is not good. Don’t sabotage us. Don’t try to gain popularity by attacking your opponents when the government should gain the people’s attention by introducing good policies and plans for the country,” he added.

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