Don’t justify corruption by using 'helping bumi' excuse, says PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Leaders shouldn’t justify corruption by using the excuse of assisting bumiputra in obtaining government tenders, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"The practice of assisting bumiputra and pocketing money isn’t allowed.

"There is an existing policy on assisting bumiputra and we have no objection to that.

"But, it is not allowed to use the 'bumiputra' excuse in asking companies to give money to individuals and parties," said Anwar during Question Time on Tuesday morning (Feb 21).

Anwar was responding to Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad (BN-Parit Sulong), who asked about steps taken by the government to ensure the accountability and transparency of government institutions.

Anwar said the Pandora Papers that were leaked in October 2021 are currently being probed by various authorities, including the police, the national Anti-Financial Crime Centre (NFCC), the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Bank Negara Malaysia, and the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN).

Anwar said he was satisfied with the ongoing investigations and the authorities have updated him after summoning several individuals for questioning.

"But, efforts to stop this (storing money in offshore accounts) is ongoing and that is why the Finance Ministry said that the tendering process must be more transparent," added Anwar.

Several Malaysian politicians who were named in the Pandora Papers were currently being probed.

Among them was an 84-year-old individual, a former minister, who was asked to explain the money flow involving 12 offshore companies owned by him and his family.

Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (PN-Kubang Kerian) asked if the government has intentions to scrutinise offshore accounts while also including political donations from abroad.

Anwar said the amount of money involved in the Pandora Papers is quite high, after taking into account the country’s present economic states and residents.

"Most monies brought out of Malaysia were from illicit and illegal sources. I cannot say that all of it is illegal. This will depend on the investigating authorities, but the amount is too high for the country," added Anwar.

The Pandora Papers was a data leak involving 2.94 terabytes of data which cited the opening of offshore accounts involving former and current government and political leaders around the world, including Malaysia.

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Pandora Papers , Anwar Ibrahim , Corruption ,


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