KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Saturday that he is willing to declare the sources of Umno's political funding if the opposition does the same.
His comment comes as a senior Umno member said the party constitution allows for the president to have a trust account on behalf of the party.
"I can explain the source of political funding only if the opposition also agrees to do the same, DAP and PKR especially,'' the Malay Mail Online quoted Najib as saying.
He was referring to the Democratic Action Party and Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
Najib said his efforts to legislate transparency in political funding in 2009 were "shot down by DAP", but added that he is ready to make a second effort for such legislature.
"I don't mind, I can list who donates to the party to be transparent but DAP doesn't agree to publicising political funding.
"Why? Because they have something to do hide," he said during his speech to Seremban Umno delegates.
"I will bring this (to Parliament) again," he told reporters.
Najib's comments come amid allegations that state funds were used to finance the ruling Barisan Nasional's campaign in the last general election.
A special taskforce is currently investigating claims that US$700 million (S$958 million) was transferred into Najib’s personal bank accounts via state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), allegedly to prop up BN’s campaign.
1MDB is also being investigated separately by the Auditor-General’s Department and Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over its dealings that led to a reported RM42 billion (S$15 millin) debt pile.
The prime minister has denied ever using state funds for personal gain but failed to clarify if the money did indeed enter his bank accounts.
On Saturday, it was reported that the Umno constitution provides for the party president to have a trust account on behalf of the party.
BN's strategic communications director and Umno member Abdul Rahman Dahlan said it was not only Najib who had a trust account on behalf of Umno, but also the previous Umno presidents.
"I wish to inform that the Umno constitution provides for the party president to have a trust account on behalf of the party,'' Bernama news agency quoted him as saying after opening the Kubang Pasu Umno Youth delegates meeting.
Rahman, who is also urban well-being, housing and local government minister, said the money currently in a trust account under Najib's name as the Umno president was not from 1MDB or public funds, Bernama reported.
Donations to Umno from the past up to now are from party supporters, he said.