Freeze on Umno accounts: We need to know source of money, says PM

Mahathir says MACC is now in the process of tracing the source of the money. (Bernama pic)

LANGKAWI: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today defended the freeze on Umno accounts undertaken by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in relation to investigations into 1MDB.

Mahathir said the freeze was needed as they needed to know where Umno’s hundreds of millions came from.

“If it came from 1MDB, then the money needs to be returned,” he told reporters after attending a Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house here today.

On how long the bank accounts will be frozen, Mahathir said MACC was now in the process of tracing the source of the money.

The Langkawi MP was asked to comment on whether the freezing of Umno’s accounts was the right thing to do, with several quarters asking for the freeze on the accounts to be lifted.

Acting Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also vying for the presidency in today’s party elections, recently announced that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had frozen the accounts of the Umno headquarters and Selangor Umno.

Johor Umno chief Mohamed Khaled Nordin also reportedly confirmed today that one of the state party’s bank accounts had been frozen.

SUPP president Dr Sim Kui Hian said yesterday the party had received a letter from its bank informing it that its headquarters’ account was frozen for a three-month period for MACC investigations.

“SUPP will comply with any investigation by the authorities, as it always has,” Sim said.

Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is PPBM president, said the action was within MACC’s jurisdiction and that the agency had always acted based on its findings.