Guan Eng demands MCA, other political parties, return 1MDB money

MCA and other political parties which received money from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) must now return the funds, warned Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

(NST) – He also said that opposition party leaders, including MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, cannot plead ignorance on the origin of the monies in their possession.

“(Wee) said he does not know what former MCA president Tan Sri Chua Soi Lek (revealed about the party) receiving RM16.5 million prior to the 13th general election (GE13).

“Chua said he did not know the source of the money. This is clearly 1MDB money, but (Wee) does not want to investigate (its source).

“If you are (party) president and know that the source (of your funds are) not clear, you should investigate.

“I urge MCA to return the money to 1MDB. On behalf of 1MDB, I am asking for the return of the RM16.5 million.

“All other political parties (who were recipients of 1MDB funds) must return the money to 1MDB,” Lim said during a press conference at the ministry here, today.

Aside from MCA, Lim however, did not specify the other parties which had been recipients of funds from 1MDB, which is the subject of corruption and money-laundering probes in Malaysia and countries including the United States and Singapore.

In a recent report published by an English daily, Wee said that as far as he is concerned, MCA did not receive a single sen from 1MDB on the day he became deputy president on Dec 21, 2014.

The Ayer Hitam Member of Parliament said that he was also not privy to information prior to that date.

Former MCA president Chua had recently said that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had given RM16.8 million to MCA for the GE13, but that he was unaware of its true origin.

In a press conference in George Town on Sunday, Lim urged Wee to check the source of the RM16.5 million, and that if it had indeed originated from 1MDB.

Lim noted though that Wee does not dare to categorically declare that the funds were not from 1MDB as “everyone knows this was 1MDB money.”

“When (Wee) took no action, that was not in accordance with the law.

“Please follow the law and return the RM16.5 million to 1MDB.

“You cannot run. You cannot cover up,” Lim said.

On what action would be taken if the money is not returned, he said that 1MDB will know what to do.

“We are focussing on (recovering) the billions (swindled from 1MDB) first, then the millions (taken from the sovereign wealth fund). We will take action on the bigger sums first.

“(Wee and other political party heads) claimed (they) learnt (their) lesson from the GE14.

“(So) come clean on 1MDB and take full responsibility,” he added.

Meanwhile, on Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) report today that China offered to bail out 1MDB in return for agreements involving the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Lim said he will need to make checks before making a comment.

Lim added that he would be interested in gaining access to the minutes of previously undisclosed meetings, which were cited by WSJ for its report.

According to the report, the previous Barisan Nasional administration had signed a loan from Export-Import Bank of China for US$2.3 billion (RM9.3 billion) in 2016 to fund the construction of two gas pipelines in Malaysia.

Among those present at today’s press conference were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof; Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh; and Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching.