I never told MACC to act against Bersatu, says Anwar

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim says he never instructed the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to freeze Bersatu’s accounts.

(FMT) – At a press conference, Anwar insisted that the anti-graft agency acted independently in freezing Bersatu’s accounts under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (Amla).

He reiterated that enforcement agencies and the judiciary remained independent, and said it was irresponsible for the opposition to accuse Putrajaya of using the MACC as a political tool.

“What happened was two things. Firstly, reports were made to the police and MACC on the use of funds by Bersatu. Secondly, in carrying out my job at the finance ministry, I found projects that involved high expenditures that did not go through a tender process.

“These are projects like Jana Wibawa, which was during the movement control order (MCO), and flood mitigation projects. I found that the costs were too high, so I revealed that information,” he said, adding that MACC’s actions were not based on his views but on its own investigation.

He also said MACC’s probe found Bersatu had more than RM300 million in its accounts.

Anwar said, if Bersatu’s leaders were as clean as they claimed to be, they should explain how the party managed to accumulate its funds in such a short amount of time.

After that, he said, the MACC can submit their findings to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

He maintained that the government’s stand was that the authorities should probe and act against any party suspected of being involved in any wrongdoing.

Yesterday, MACC chief Azam Baki confirmed that Bersatu’s accounts were frozen under Amla.

Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin then accused Putrajaya of using the MACC as a political tool to destroy the credibility of the party and Perikatan Nasional (PN).

The action is understood to have been taken in connection with an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of billions of ringgit meant for Covid-19 stimulus packages.

Muhyiddin Yassin, who is Bersatu president and PN chairman, previously denied claims his government had misappropriated RM92.5 billion when he was prime minister. He said he was confident that MACC would clear him of any wrongdoing.

The investigations had earlier seen the arrest of a CEO of a private company who is alleged to have served as a middleman in the distribution of government projects.