‘Yayasan Al-Abrar’s 2013 prayer programme self-financed’

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KUALA LUMPUR: The chairman of a prayer programme organised by Yayasan Al-Abrar in 2013 said he could not confirm an allegation by PKR MP Rafizi Ramli that the foundation had received RM5 million from Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank account.

Speaking to FMT, Syed Mehdar Syed Abdullah said this was because he had only chaired the “Malaysia Berselawat” programme, and was not in charge of Yayasan Al-Abrar’s financial matters.

He said as far as the programme was concerned, it was self-financed.

“If you’re talking about ‘Malaysia Berselawat’ then I can tell you we raised our own funds for that because I was directly involved.

“Apart from that, I don’t know because I do not take care of the foundation’s accounts,” he said.

Syed Mehdar said that the money used to organise the foundation’s “Malaysia Berselawat” programme on Dec 7, 2013 was obtained from his close friends who lent their financial support. He said he was appointed chairman of this programme.

“The money came from my friends like Syed Ali Alhabshee. I also used the money I collected.

“We didn’t take a sen from Najib.”

At a press conference yesterday, Rafizi, who is PKR vice-president, named three recipients, who he alleged received money from 1MDB, through Najib’s private bank account.

Besides Yayasan Al-Abrar, the other alleged recipients were Najib’s aide who Rafizi said received RM2 million, and Najib himself.

Rafizi added that a sum of RM449,586.95 was paid from a credit card under Najib’s Ambank Islamic bank account to the aide.

Another transaction from Najib’s credit card, said Rafizi, totalled RM2,833,147.21.

Both transactions totalled RM3.28 million and was spent on the same day at a luxury jewellery outlet in Italy, he said, adding that Najib should explain the transactions.

This is the second such disclosure by Rafizi on the alleged flow of 1MDB funds.

On April 13, he named former PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa as being allegedly a recipient of funds linked from 1MDB subsidiary SRC International.

In 2015, The Wall Street Journal cited documents from Malaysian investigators alleging some RM2.6 billion from entities linked to 1MDB had flowed into Najib’s private accounts.

Najib has denied the allegation, saying the money was a donation from the Saudi royal family to help Umno’s campaign in the 2013 general election.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This report corrects the designation of Syed Mehdhar as the chairman of the programme “Malaysia Berselawat”, organised by Yayasan Al-Abrar, and not as reported previously.