Ambiga: PH Did Most of the Work in US$300M 1MDB Funds Retrieval

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Muhyiddin and his government must prove its transparency in handling the RM1.3 billion.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin should have credited the efforts made by the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) government for the return of US$300 million (RM1.3 billion) of funds related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), said Ambiga Sreenevasan.

The Finance Ministry earlier today confirmed the receipt of the amount recovered from seizures, forfeitures and liquidation of assets related to 1MDB.

Muhyiddin thanked the US government, especially its embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and Attorney-General Idrus Harun.

The prime minister added that with this recent tranche, a total of US$620 million of 1MDB-linked funds have been returned to Malaysia.

Ambiga, who was Malaysian Bar president and former chairman of Bersih 2.0, criticised Putrajaya for not acknowledging the efforts of the previous government in retrieving the money.

Let’s face it. If it were not for PH, which included Muhyiddin Yassin, we may have never seen this money rightfully returned to the people,”   she said in a tweet today.

“As I recall, BN (Barisan Nasional) refused to acknowledge this money was stolen and refused to cooperate as a result (awkward!) and it is only PH who relentlessly went after this money,” she added in another post.

Ambiga, who was a member of the Institutional Reforms Committee, also responded to another Twitter user who commended Tengku Zafrul and Idrus for their roles in the negotiation process.

“Most of the work or a lot of work was done by the previous finance minister and attorney-general as I understand it but please do correct me if I am wrong. If I am right, please be gracious about acknowledging it,” said Ambiga.

Her tweets were also directed at Muhyiddin, Tengku Zafrul and BN’s Twitter pages.

Muhyiddin was appointed prime minister on March 1 after a week-long political impasse that ended with his party Bersatu, joining forces with Umno, Islamist party PAS, a group of former PKR lawmakers and Sarawak’s GPS to form the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.

Critics of PN then branded the coalition a backdoor government after it had unseated Dr Mahathir’s PH as the ruling coalition.

Muhyiddin pulled Bersatu out of PH on February 24, leading to the collapse of the 22-month-old PH coalition.

Earlier today, corruption watchdog Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said Muhyiddin and his government must prove its transparency in handling the RM1.3 billion.

C4 in a statement said PN was unelected, and consist of “the very people who were voted out for their dirty hands in the 1MDB scandal.”

“Given this disturbing reality we Malaysians are forced to live with, a serious trust deficit must not set in.

“Thus, it is imperative for Muhyiddin and his cabinet to show a maximum level of transparency, which is obligatory,” it said.

Former prime minister Najib Razak is facing three ongoing trials, including the 1MDB trial where he faces 25 charges for abuse of power and for laundering RM2.28 billion in 1MDB funds. His trial, which was to have proceeded this month, has been deferred due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Najib, who is also Pekan MP, is currently a backbencher in the PN government. – TMI