KUALA LUMPUR – Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia has praised PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and several state muftis for opposing the United States Department of Justice’s (DoJ) recent lawsuit to seize assets allegedly linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Writing under the collective pseudonym of Awang Selamat, its editors accused the DoJ suit of an attempt at foreign intervention meant to topple the Barisan Nasional government.
“In matters of opposing foreign intervention when it comes to the 1MDB issue, PAS’ stance especially its president, Hadi Awang is consistent enough,” Awang wrote in its Sunday edition Mingguan Malaysia today.
“Awang salutes Hadi’s firmness including in the second attack of the 1MDB civil suit issues that was recycled by the DoJ with the help of certain politically-motivated parties in Malaysia.”
The broadsheet also praised several muftis for the same reason: Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria, Pahang Mufti Datuk Abdul Rahman Osman, Negri Sembilan Mufti Datuk Mohd Yusof Ahmad, Federal Territories Mufti Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad, Kedah Mufti Datuk Syeikh Muhamad Baderudin Ahmad, and Melaka Mufti Datuk Abdul Halim Tawil.
The paper also accused the DoJ suit as the latest trick following the alleged failure of the Bersih rallies, and predicted that the upcoming roadshow on the suit organised by opposition pact Pakatan Harapan will not receive support form the public.
“The rally will be the arena for foreign proxies that will become a bad omen for Pakatan Harapan in the 14th general elections … The question is, who is using who? DoJ or Pakatan Harapan?” asked Awang.
The DoJ is currently seeking to recover US$540 million (RM2.3 billion) in assets — including artworks, jewellery and film rights — that it alleged were purchased with misappropriated funds.
In July 20 last year, the DoJ had led a civil lawsuit seeking the forfeiture and recovery of more than US$1 billion in assets linked to what it described as an “international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated” from 1MDB, the largest case ever brought by the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.
1MDB has since responded saying that the allegations were not backed with proof, while Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali dismissed the action as politically motivated, claiming the lawsuits were prepared based on information from individuals from Malaysia.
– Malay Mail