Malaysia PM party member: $700 million Saudi 'donation'
Member of Najib Razak's political party claims money given in appreciation to Malaysia for championing Islam and practising Sunni Islam.

The RM2.6 billion ($700 million) "donation" at the heart of a suspected scandal involving state-owned firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad and Prime Minister Najib Razak came as a token of appreciation from the Saudi Arabian government, a member of the premier's party claimed Sunday.

The United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) chief for Kuantan, the third largest state in Malaysia, said that the money was given in apreciation to Malaysia for "championing Islam" and practising "Sunni Islam."

"Not only did Malaysia receive the donation from Saudi Arabia, two or three more countries also received, including the Muslim community in the Philippines and [Southern] Thailand," Wan Adnan Wan Mamat said at the opening of a Umno Kuantan division meeting.

He added that such funding was also given to Malaysia in 2013 for effectively combatting the widening influence of Daesh.

A Wall Street Journal report had claimed that the RM2.6 billion was from the debt-ridden state investment arm, only for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to rule that the money was from personal donations, and not 1MDB.

The vice president of imprisoned former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's People's Justice Party, Nurul Izzah Anwar, has since claimed that if that the money was a "donation" as claimed then it would have been utilized by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition to win the 13th General Election in May 2013, which nulls the election results.

Mamat said that Razak had explained the donation during a meeting with all 146 UMNO divisional leaders last week.

The funds went to his personal accounts as the donation from Saudi Arabia was made to the premier and not to the party, he underlined.

He added that UMNO leaders were satisfied with the explanation, adding that they did not want the matter to drag on.

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Last Modified: 2015-08-17 09:04:31
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