PETALING JAYA: After 10 days, 1MDB has finally decided to defend itself from the allegations made by Dr Mahathir Mohamad, pertaining to the Yayasan 1MDB sponsorship of the “Program Khas Haji” (Special Haj Programme).
There had been no response initially by the state-owned investment firm following Mahathir’s comments which were made at a ceramah on Dec 23, last year but first reported on Dec 31.
In a strongly-worded statement today, 1MDB denied the “baseless and unsubstantiated allegation” by the former prime minister that the Yayasan 1MDB Haj sponsorship was funded with “stolen” money.
“Mahathir Mohamed has once again lied about 1MDB, this time in relation to Yayasan 1MDB sponsorship for the Program Khas Haji (Special Haj Programme).
“He wrongly claims that the Yayasan 1MDB Haj sponsorship was funded through ‘stolen’ money, and we strongly deny this baseless and unsubstantiated allegation, the 1MDB statement said.
1MDB added that it had generated its own funds from its previous energy production facilities, and more recently, in real estate development.
“Funds generated from these business operations are contributed to Yayasan 1MDB, which then uses such funds to sponsor the Program Khas Haji,” 1MDB said, explaining that since it started in 2010, there has been RM690 million disbursed to worthy causes that helped all Malaysians, regardless of race.
“We have been delivering 60 projects in education, healthcare, youth development and community services. Such projects have had an impact on the lives of 2.8 million Malaysians.
“Apart from Program Khas Haji, Yayasan 1MDB funds are also used for a variety of causes, including Dana PIBG grants, academic grants to SPM/STPM students, academic grants for Sri Murugan Centre (SMC) and the Unified Examination Certificate Holders,” 1MDB said adding it was also currently sponsoring over 600 Malaysian scholars across all races.
Last week, some federal ministers and the Pahang mufti were the first to defend the programme and took Mahathir to task for his attack on Yayasan 1MDB over its haj sponsorship.
Pahang mufti Abdul Rahman Osman said whether someone’s haj is accepted by God has nothing to do with the source of funding, but the deeds of those performing the haj.