PM's Office guards stole Umno election funds: Najib

Seventeen security guards working at the Malaysian Prime Minister's Office were remanded at the Magistrate Court in Putrajaya to assist in the investigation of the alleged misappropriation of $1.18 million in election funds.
Seventeen security guards working at the Malaysian Prime Minister's Office were remanded at the Magistrate Court in Putrajaya to assist in the investigation of the alleged misappropriation of $1.18 million in election funds.PHOTO: THE STAR

PETALING JAYA • Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has claimed that the RM3.5 million (S$1.18 million) allegedly taken by 17 security guards guarding the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on election night was money that belonged to the former ruling Umno party.

Najib, who was Umno president until the May 9 general election that toppled Umno and its Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, told the Malaysiakini website he was surprised the security guards who were tasked with guarding the office had taken the cash from there.

Najib said the authorities had in news reports acknowledged that the money was Umno election funds that were kept outside the strongroom and safes of the office.

"If the authorities know these are Umno funds, then they will also know that the RM114 million seized by the police in the raids of the apartments came from the strongroom and safes in the PMO," he said.

The Malaysian police had seized cash along with luxury watches, handbags and jewellery from several properties linked to Najib after his election defeat as part of investigations into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad state fund .

Sources told The Star the security personnel allegedly abused their power to secure the money from the PMO after learning that the BN was losing the election.

They were said to have shared the money among themselves.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officers have seized about RM840,700 and nine motorcycles worth RM90,000 in the investigation.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2018, with the headline 'PM's Office guards stole Umno election funds: Najib'. Print Edition | Subscribe