Najib: No prosecution, so return seized RM116.7mil Umno funds
PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic) wants the police to return the RM116.7mil, most of which he claims are Umno funds, seized from premises linked to him as no legal action has been taken after three months.
The former premier said most of the money was in ringgit while only a small portion of the cash was in foreign currencies.
"I have commented on the matter numerous times in the local media but I choose to explain in more detail as the police still insist on not returning the money.
"This is despite several efforts and negotiations conducted," he said in a statement on his Facebook page on Sunday (Sept 9).
He also went on to explain that it was normal practice for the Umno president to handle donations and party assets, including transferring and making payments during elections.
"Such tasks and rights are enshrined in the party's constitution and it has been so since the tenure of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (as president)," he said.
During the last general election, most of the donations from businessmen and individuals were in cash and it was distributed to all 222 parliamentary and 505 state constituency, he said, adding that political donations are not against the country's laws.
"When Dr Mahathir built the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and Seri Perdana, he also ensured that a vault and a safe were built at the respective locations.
"These are the locations where the cash received was stored for the purposes of political and election operations, including settling various bills after the elections as well as funds for branches' operations," he said.
After Barisan Nasional unexpectedly lost in the GE14, the cash was gathered and temporarily transferred to the Pavilion Residences in Kuala Lumpur, he explained.
"I was also informed recently that a few officers had stolen RM3.5mil when transferring the cash and they were detained by the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission).
"The police raided the apartment and seized the money even before we could make a decision on how to manage the cash while waiting for who will take over as the new party president," he said.
"I reaffirm again that it is party funds, thus Umno has sought legal representatives to negotiate with the authorities to return the money," said Najib.
Besides Pavillion residences, the police also raided the units of both Najib's children and his own home at Jalan Duta.
On the foreign currency seized, Najib explained that anyone who often travels overseas for work and leisure was bound to have unused foreign currencies at their homes. "It is no different for me and my family," he said.
The former prime minister said he would, at a later date, also explain about the seized jewellery and handbags which has become fodder for gossip and speculation.