All political funding disbursed by Najib to Umno divisions, says Annuar Musa

MELAKA, 23 Okt -- Ketua Penerangan UMNO Malaysia Tan Sri Annuar Musa (kiri) berucap di hadapan anggota UMNO pada majlis Pimpinan Bersama Akar Umbi di Dewan Sri Bendahara malam ini. --fotoBERNAMA (2016) HAK CIPTA TERPELIHARA

(NST) – “So, if it was political funding then did the money go to the party? So in one of our meetings, I counter-checked with division heads and they said they had received cheques signed by Najib.

All political funding channelled to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak have been disbursed to Umno divisions accordingly, said Umno information chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

Speaking to state grassroots Umno information chiefs as part of his nationwide tour here, Annuar said this includes political funding channelled directly to the prime minister.

Annuar allayed concerns of members by explaining what he had gathered upon speaking to Najib over the matter.

“As a party, we had all this while relied on funding from sources established through the formation of party-linked businesses controlled by certain people,” said Annuar. “That was the case all this while and the party was running its election machinery from a war chest funded by these quarters.”

Annuar said Umno was left on its knees due to these quarters holding strong ties to former president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“This is Dr Mahathir’s seventh mission to topple a top leader in the country. This we must understand,” said Annuar.

He said Dr Mahathir had succeeded in undermining former prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman and rival Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, before curbing the rises of his former deputies Tun Musa Hitam, Tun Ghafar Baba and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“He then manoueuvred the ouster of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and now, Najib,” said Annuar.

“This is his mission,” Annuar explained, noting that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia advisor Dr Mahathir’s ire was further irked when his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir was dropped as Kedah Menteri Besar.

“The problem is, when one leads the country for 22 years as he did, there are sure to be many of such businessmen and backers closely linked to him, who used to hold the funding for the party. “That was how the party was run and that was the system he had created and this is how he tries to remain in control.”

Speaking at Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron’s official residence, Annuar said this system had forced Najib to shift away and find new ways for the party to be stabilised.

“But usually, our bank accounts are safe and banks will not divulge what is usually private information,” said Annuar.

“Obviously in this case, there were insiders who leaked information. But I have to stress that in the beginning it wasn’t Dr Mahathir who was making all the noise about the RM2.6 billion, it was Opposition MP Tony Pua in Parliament.

“At that time, when Dr Mahathir was asked about it, he just said he didn’t know,” said Annuar. “It was only when Mukhriz was dropped that this really became an issue for Dr Mahathir and now he is using the system that he created to bring down Umno.”

Annuar said he then spoke to Najib and asked for answers about the RM2.6 billion. “I asked for answers on whether it was the people’s money, whether it was from 1MDB. He said no,” said Annuar.

“So, if it was political funding then did the money go to the party? So in one of our meetings, I counter-checked with division heads and they said they had received cheques signed by Najib.

“It was during the period of the last elections, so the money was spent on the party’s election campaign.” Annuar said he was convinced with the proof provided by Najib that there was no wrongdoing and urged Umno members to remain steadfast in their support for the party despite efforts to disunite them.