KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today that he would rather discuss the RM2.6 billion donation controversy privately with Umno members instead of issuing public statements.
According to The Malaysian Insider, the Umno president told the Alor Star Umno divisional meeting in Kedah today that this is because public statements could result in repercussions against the party.
“I can explain. No problem, but not openly because it can affect the party.
“As long as there is no stealing from the people or violation of the law... as long as we follow this rule, we just have to do what is necessary for the party,” he was quoted as saying.
Najib also reportedly said that funds are necessary to help mobilise an election machinery.
He added, however, that he does not believe in buying votes.
“When I was Umno Youth chief, did I buy votes? I helped the party with the machinery and the funds whenever needed.
“That is my principle. I believe in my leader. I never questioned Pak Lah (Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi). He (Pak Lah) also never questioned Tun Dr Mahathir (Mohamad).
“People said that I am ‘lembut’ (soft)... don’t, there is a limit. I hold on to my principles,” he was quoted by the news portal as saying.
Earlier today, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang urged Najib to attend next weekend’s Bersih 4 rally, saying the prime minister should use the event as an opportunity to explain the RM2.6 billion donation controversy to Malaysians.
The DAP politician told Najib that there was “no way” to make the issue disappear without an adequate public explanation, adding that over time, it would only loom larger over the prime minister and taint his entire time in office.
“The scandal of the RM2.6 billion in Najib’s accounts must be nipped without ado, if the Najib premiership is not going to be drowned in the waters of the RM2.6 billion and 1MDB scandal,” he said, referring to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Lim said Najib should hold a no-holds-barred discussion with polls watchdog Bersih 2.0, the group behind the coming August 29 overnight rally dubbed “Bersih 4”, as well as participants of the mass event, and explain the many controversies plaguing his leadership, especially the issue of the RM2.6 billion donation that was funnelled into his accounts.
It was previously speculated that the RM2.6 billion had originated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a brainchild of the prime minister’s that is currently under probe for alleged financial irregularities.
But the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) recently refuted this, saying the funds had come from donors from the Middle East. The commission did not, however, reveal the identity or identities of the donors.
At the Sri Gading Umno divisional meeting yesterday, party leaders Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi spoke about the controversial donation, with both leaders suggesting the funds were channelled to Najib’s accounts to help Umno during the polls.
According to Abdul Aziz, who is also Sri Gading Umno chief, the funds were meant to help Umno fight “Jewish-backed” DAP during Election 2013.
Zahid, who is Umno vice-president and deputy prime minister, said he met with representatives of the Middle Eastern donor who told him the funds were given as a sign of thanks for Malaysia’s efforts against terrorism.
Zahid also said the donor wanted to keep Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) in power.
The Bersih 4 rally, which aims to pressure the government for institutional reforms, is to kick off on August 29 and continue overnight in a campout in Kuala Lumpur.- Source at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com