..clear cut case of corruption when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak received the RM2.6 billion donation, as public officials are not supposed to receive gratuity, a forum was told last night.
Under at least two present laws, a public official who receives money in his personal accounts is presumed to have received it for corrupt purposes, said two prominent lawyers Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Hanipa Maidin.
In Najib’s case, the Umno president did not voluntarily declare the RM2.6 billion when it was put into his personal accounts in March 2013, more than a month before the 13th general election, said Hanipa, who is also Sepang MP.
The RM2.6 billion or US$681 million, was only revealed by The Wall Street Journal two years later, in July 2015. The paper reported that the money was from companies related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
A month later, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) announced that it was a political donation from an anonymous Middle Eastern donor, but no explanation was given on how the money was spent.
“So why was there no prosecution of this?” said Hanipa in response to Attorney-General (A-G) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s decision on January 26 not to press charges against Najib.
“When we asked who gave the money, the A-G just said the public had no right to know.
“But my argument is, the right to know precedes the right to freedom of expression,” Hanipa told a forum titled “1MDB and RM2.6 billion scandals: The end of rule of law?” in Petaling Jaya last night.
Hanipa explained that Najib had breached the law by not declaring the money when he first received it in March 2013.
“He should not have received it in the first place. This is a clear cut case,” Hanipa said when met after the forum.
Public officials who receive gratification are liable for prosecution under the Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.
“You cannot run away from this law. They have made the law look foolish. Those who have sworn to protect and uphold the law are the ones who are undermining it,” she told a packed audience at the Petaling Jaya Civic Centre.
source: Malaysian Insider