KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 2 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) ongoing investigation into Bersatu has nothing to do with the federal coalition government, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim asserted today.
He denied using his position to influence the MACC to investigate the Opposition party or suspend its bank accounts, saying he had only told the commission the findings from the Finance Ministry, which he also leads.
“I exposed information found from the Ministry of Finance. The investigation by MACC is not based on my views.
“They conducted the investigation based on more than RM300 million found in the party’s account. So definitely it needed an explanation,” Anwar said in a post-Cabinet press conference in Putrajaya this afternoon.
In response to the Bersatu secretary-general’s accusations, Anwar said it was irresponsible to make such statements on behalf of the party.
“We wish to stress that the investigation bodies and judiciary remain independent.
“It’s irresponsible for Opposition political parties which are undergoing investigation to make accusations saying there is interference from the unity government.
“We did not repeat the pressuring attitude of the past (administrations). We did not use these institutions,” he added.
Yesterday, Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin had called the MACC’s investigation into Bersatu and its freezing of the party’s bank accounts an effort by the government to “kill its credibility” along with that of Perikatan Nasional (PN).
Hamzah’s statement yesterday came after MACC’s confirmation on the freezing of Bersatu’s bank accounts.
Anwar went on to explain the two things that led to the MACC’s recent action.
First, he said there were reports lodged with the police and the MACC regarding the use of funds by Bersatu.
“Secondly, I was just doing my job at the Finance Ministry which looks into projects that had overly high expenditure and did not involve a tender process.
“If there was no tender process and the cost did not spike, then that doesn’t become an issue. It isn’t about us punishing anyone.
“So the Jana Wibawa programme and flood relief projects — Jana Wibawa was done during the movement control order by the then prime minister — and we found that the costs were too high,” he said.
He added that if the Bersatu leadership was really as clean as it claimed, it should explain to the anti-graft body how the party managed to collect so much money in such a short period of time and the source.
“After bringing the matter to the MACC, it will be brought to court following due process.
“I don’t know anything beyond that.
“What we also want to stress is that the investigation did not exempt either government parties or Opposition parties, that is what we have agreed upon,” Anwar said, calling for clarification to prevent any confusion.
It was reported that the accounts in question were frozen as part of the MACC’s probe into alleged irregularities in the use of RM600 billion worth of public funds meant for the Covid-19 pandemic by the previous administration under Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who is the Bersatu president.
On December 6, MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki announced that the anti-graft body had opened an investigation paper into the allegations.
However, several news reports also suggested that the MACC action was linked to allegations that Bersatu received donations from about 10 contractors who are said to have procured various projects when the party was in government.
It is thought the donations amounted to more than RM300 million.