(Asia One) - New leads in the investigation into Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's alleged control over 20 accounts worth RM3 billion have been claimed to link him to dozens of properties across the country.
Reliable sources told the New Straits Times that new evidence had prompted the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to open new investigation papers and revisit files on the former deputy prime minister and finance minister, which had been "kept in view" since 2000.
It is understood that the new evidence came from Ummi Hafilda Ali, the sister of Parti Keadilan Rakyat deputy president Azmin Ali. Sources said the leads suggested that the MACC look into properties linked to Anwar.
The sources said checks were also being run with the land office to ascertain the connections.
"There are luxury bungalows and penthouses, many of which are in Penang. The properties in question were allegedly procured as far back as the early 1990s."
Meanwhile, Ummi, when contacted, did not reveal much about the "new evidence" she submitted to the MACC last week. However, she said the evidence also implicated Azmin.
"There are individuals who are linked to this new evidence, and if Anwar were to see the photo of this pretty woman included in the new evidence, he would immediately recognise her," she told NST.
Controversy over the 13-year-old case erupted when Ummi Hafilda raised the probe by the then Anti-Corruption Agency into the statutory declaration (SD) by former Bank Negara Malaysia assistant governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid on May 30, 1999.
Murad, in his SD, claimed that Anwar had amassed some RM3 billion during his tenure as deputy prime minister and finance minister. He also alleged that Anwar's cronies had set up "master accounts" from which financial contributions could be made for Anwar's interests.
Reports quoting opposition leaders have claimed Murad subsequently retracted the SD, although ACA records showed otherwise.
Meanwhile, Anwar's media coordinator, Eekmal Ahmad, dismissed Ummi Hafilda's claim, saying it was a "baseless accusation".
"We do not wish to comment on this, as her credibility is questionable. Suffice to say that today, Anwar has told Parliament that he is willing to cooperate with any investigation into the SD that claimed Anwar had allegedly amassed RM3 billion."
Bernama reported that Anwar had said he was prepared to cooperate with the authorities on allegations that he had accounts amounting to RM3 billion.
"I will cooperate, no problems if there's other evidence. We can have our differences in politics but it's not necessary to go on making accusations," he said during the Supplementary Supply (2012) Bill 2012 debate in the Dewan Rakyat.
Anwar said an open investigation should be conducted, with checks on accounts belonging to him and his family.