PUTRAJAYA – Donations to political parties are not something extraordinary as this occurs in all countries, says Barisan Nasional (BN) strategic communications director, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
Abdul Rahman who is also Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister, said the RM2.6 billion political fund received by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak did not infringe any law or the UMNO constitution.
“In the UMNO constitution, the party president is permitted to seek as much funds for the party. This is because UMNO is a large party and we are present all over Malaysia except Sarawak.
“The cost of political activities is increasing and I am not surprised at such an amount of funds collected by a party,” he told reporters at a Fire and Rescue Department Aidilfitri celebration, here, Tuesday.
He was commenting on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)’s statement that the RM2.6 billion allegedly deposited into Najib’s personal bank account was from a donor and not from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
“The practice of placing political funds into a trust account or the party president’s personnal account or several individuals’ who do not hold a party post (proxies) has been implemented since the time of former UMNO president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“As Dr Mahathir had said he was disappointed as it was difficult to recover UMNO’s funds and assets when they were held by other individuals,” Abdul Rahman said.
According to him, he was more comfortable if the party fund was placed under the party president’s account so that audit could be carried out easily.
“If you ask me, UMNO members or leaders will certainly be more comfortable if the money is held by the party president compared to individuals or businessmen as party proxies,” he said.
Speaking in KOTA KINABALU, Abdul Rahman urged all parties to stop speculating on and accusing Najib over the RM2.6 million in political funds allegedly deposited into the prime minister’s personal bank account following the findings of the investigation by the MACC on the funds.
He said the MACC had disclosed that the amount came from a donor and not from 1MDB, hence this in itself rebutted the malicious accusation against Najib.
“The MACC found that the money originated from a donor. The speculation that the money was from 1MDB and robbed from the people has been answered. The question of who the donor is and why the money was deposited into the prime minister’s account can be resolved later.”
Abdul Rahman said this to reporters at an Aidilfitri celebration hosted by the Sabah Fire and Rescue Department in Teluk Sepanggar yesterday.
Asked whether the identity of the donor would be revealed, he said it was up to the prime minister.
“As I have said before, there is no law in the country that forbids anyone from donating to a political party which that person supports,” he added.
Abdul Rahman also opined that it was better for contributions to the political fund be given straight away to the party president compared to an unknown person.