Malaysia's anti-graft commission 'can't reveal' identity of PM Najib's S$850 million donor

In this file picture taken on Aug 29, protestors hold placards demanding Prime Minister Najib Razak's resignation during an anti-government rally in Kuala Lumpur.
In this file picture taken on Aug 29, protestors hold placards demanding Prime Minister Najib Razak's resignation during an anti-government rally in Kuala Lumpur.PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has said it will not reveal details about the identity of the donor of the RM2.6 billion (S$850 million) that was deposited into the personal bank account of Prime Minister Najib Razak because it is prevented from doing so under the law.

"MACC has no problem revealing details of the investigation if it does not go against the law," said its director of special operations Bahri Mohamad Zin in a statement.

But he said existing provisions under the law prevented MACC from doing so.

Datuk Bahri said that under the MACC Act, the commission was prevented from revealing detailed information on a case to the public.

He said that this was also in line with the comments made by former attorney-general, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, who posted on his blog on Saturday (Dec 26) that the MACC had no power to give details of its investigations until the matter was brought to court.

The statements were in response to opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat MP Rafizi Ramli's recent remarks calling for the commission to reveal the identity of the donors.

Mr Bahri said, as a lawmaker, Mr Rafizi should understand the restraints imposed on the commission.

He also said that MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed had ordered investigators to make their recommendations regardless of their findings, which would then be presented to the Attorney-General.

Mr Bahri said the commission believed this was important to ensure that all parties know that MACC had taken every decision professionally and independently.

Datuk Seri Najib has so far resisted calls to step down over allegations of graft at the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state investment fund and the RM2.6 billion funds that were deposited into his personal account.

The Premier, who chairs the 1MDB advisory board, has denied wrongdoing or taking any money for personal gain. He has said that the money was political donation from an unnamed Middle-Eastern contributor, adding that the transactions were above board.

A New Straits Times report on Dec 7 said the anti-graft agency had interviewed the donor of the RM2.6 billion ringgit deposit.