Malaysia DPM says Arab donation to Najib meant to keep BN in rule

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that he met the chief investment officer and wealth trustee of the Arab family who donated US$700 million (S$983 mllion) to Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that he met the chief investment officer and wealth trustee of the Arab family who donated US$700 million (S$983 mllion) to Prime Minister Najib Razak.PHOTO: THE STAR

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he had met representatives of the Arab family who donated US$700 million (S$983 million) to Prime Minister Najib Razak and they told him the money was to ensure that Barisan Nasional (BN) win the 13th general election.

Dr Zahid also said no money from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) was transferred into Mr Najib's personal accounts.

Malaysiakini news portal quoted him as saying on Saturday that he met the chief investment officer and wealth trustee of the Arab family, whom he said was the same family the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had reportedly met.

"When I asked them why they donated US$700 million to Malaysia, they said 'Malaysia is not the only country we are channelling our money to. There are many more friendly Muslim countries who we are donating to.'

"They want Umno and BN (Barisan Nasional) to continue ruling the country," Zahid reportedly told delegates at the Sri Gading Umno division annual meeting.

Dr Zahid, who is also Umno vice-president, did not name the family. He said the donation was channelled through multiple companies to avoid unwanted attention, The Star Online reported.

The first US$100 million was given in the form of a cheque under Mr Najib's name while the remaining funds was given through other channels, according to the report, quoting the DPM.

He said not a single cent was taken from the EPF as he saw the donation documents.

Speaking at the same event , Sri Gading Umno chief Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said the Arab donor made the contribution so that the Umno party could fight the Democratic Action Party (DAP), which is funded by the Jews, during the 2013 general election.

Sri Gading Umno chief Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said the donor feared that through DAP, Jewish influences would permeate Malaysia and destroy the Islamic government led by the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, the Malaysian Insider reported on Saturday.

"If we had lost, DAP would be in power. DAP with its Jewish funding would control this country. Based on that, our Muslim friends in the Middle East could see the Jewish threat through DAP," the news portal quoted Aziz , who is also deputy transport minister, as saying.

"If it reached the Islamic government, it would be overthrown, and that would destroy the Islamic struggle throughout the world.

"Because Najib is seen as a great Muslim leader in this region," he was quoted as saying .

Zahid, who is a former banker, then detailed how the transactions took place.

"The first US$100 million was in Najib's name. The subsequent transfer went through various transfers because the donor did not want there to be a single cheque in Najib's name," he said.

Zahid claimed the donation was made among others as a token of appreciation for Malaysia's purported counter terrorism efforts.

The MACC has reportedly interviewed the donor, and said the money had not come from debt ridden 1MDB.

However it said the donation is still being probed, and plans to question Najib about it.