KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26, 2015:
The public has a right to know why and where the RM2.6 billion donation came from, said former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who claimed that the excuses given so far were unbelievable.
He questioned the logic behind the huge donation, rejecting the explanation given so far that an Arab leader had donated the money for the country’s moderate stand on Islam and its strong stand against terrorism.
“Explaining that it was given because of Malaysia’s stand against the Islamic State is absurd as the Islamic State showed its brand of terrorism only in 2014 whereas the money came in in 2013 or before.
“Saying that it is because of Malaysia’s moderation in Islam is equally absurd as Malaysia had never been extreme in its practice of Islam,” he said in a blog posting today.
Dr Mahathir also requested for Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to provide proof and information on the donor, who the latter said he had met.
“Then let him (Ahmad Zahid) give proof that this Arab has huge sums of money to give away to Malaysia and many other countries. Which countries? What is the source of this money?
“What business does he do? What is the name of the bank he uses?
“Show his account in the bank, the cheques he issued, particularly the 700 million USD. The recipient bank should be holding these cheques.”
Dr Mahathir added that all this information could have been verified by the now disbanded special task force, consisting of the Attorney-General, Bank Negara Malaysia, the police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). For that reason, the original task force should be reconstituted, he said.
The nation’s longest-serving Prime Minister brought to light the possible money laundering on the part of banks used to make the transaction as he said that although financial institutions had to maintain banking secrecy, they were also required to report suspected money laundering.
News of the RM2.6 billion was revealed by international news agency The Wall Street Journal, which alleged that the money had come from national sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
MACC, however, confirmed that the money was indeed a donation, saying it came from a donor in the Middle East.