Barely a fortnight after ministers fell into contradictions, causing widespread derision over conflicting spin about the 1MDB settlement with Abu Dhabi, UMNO are back in confusion.
Today, two different UMNO bosses completely undermined each other with conflicting reponses to the challenge laid down by PKR spokesman, Rafizi Ramli, over MACC leaks, which show that at least RM10 million in stolen funds from 1MDB/SRC was handed out by the Prime Minister in cheques to his own party.
According to a series of leaks from the 1MDB investigation, which no one has contested over several weeks, the payments from the series of accounts in Najib’s name, which received RM74 million from the 1MDB subsidiary SRC, took place between July 2014 and March 2015.
Several of the payments involved the purchase of luxury goods, according to the leaked lists of recipients. However, many others were political allies; suppliers of election ‘goodies’ for voters and political and media adivisors.
Rafizi Ramli yesterday stated that a total of RM10.2 million of the stolen cash went straight to UMNO branch leaders, according to the leaked investigation documents.
At which point, Malaysia’s journalists started looking for reactions from the UMNO leaders of the branches listed…. and received completely conflicting responses.
Sabah leader, Marcus Mojigoh vice-president of the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) straight up admitted the million ringgit payment, thereby providing additional credence to the authenticity of the leaked documentation:
“it is normal for the BN chairperson [Najib] to assist component parties to organise programmes to help the rakyat”
he told Malaysiakini’s Kow Gah Chee. However, when Ms Gah Chee contacted a different UMNO leader, Penang’s opposition leader and Umno assembly person Jahara Hamid, she completely denied the two separate million ringgit payments recorded as having been paid to her party first in July 2014 and then later in February 2015:
“Just say I laughed at it…..No such thing. Not that we know of”
she responded. Which all puts matters in a bit of a muddle and leaves rather a lot of questions to be asked. For example, is Marcus Mojigoh lying when he says he admits he received the payment listed in the document on behalf of his party, but sees nothing wrong in it?
Or is it Jahara Hamid who is lying, when she laughs off the whole idea as quite preposterous and denies her party received the double payment listed in the same documents?
Alternatively, could it be that someone else in Jahara’s party played the role of recipient in the case of Penang, in which case why did she not know about it?
Next, does Jahara disagree with Marcus that it is OK to accept million ringgit cheques from their party leader, without checking, for example, if the money was stolen or is she simply saying it didn’t happen?
All in all these UMNO folk are now in a bit of a spin, leaving the rest of us to draw our own conclusions.