Upko’s account frozen over MACC’s probe on Najib, says its president

Upko president and Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Wilfred Madius Tangau.

KOTA KINABALU: Upko’s bank account has been frozen by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) since the change of government last year and it cannot pay back the RM1 million it allegedly received from former prime minister Najib Razak.

Its president Wilfred Madius Tangau said the order came following MACC’s probe into the money the party allegedly received from Najib.

Upko’s former treasurer-general Marcus Mojigoh had testified in Najib’s ongoing trial in connection with SRC International Sdn Bhd that a cheque for RM1 million was issued from Najib’s AmIslamic bank account to the party in February 2015.

The cheque, for party-related purposes, was among those amounting to more than RM10 million given to 15 recipients, the trial heard.

Tangau, who is also the Tuaran MP and Sabah deputy chief minister, said the party had intended to return the money, which he claimed was kept as fixed deposit ever since, but was unable to do so because the account was frozen.

“They (MACC) want the money back. I told them I can write a cheque but please don’t freeze the account.

“They said they could not do that and told me to get RM1 million from elsewhere,” he told reporters here today, adding that Upko did not have any additional funds.

Tangau said the RM1 million was meant for the Barisan Nasional’s previous programme called “Jalinan Kasih” but it never took off.

“We never implemented the programme because many of Upko’s constituents are in the interior and we can’t go from village to village.

“If we had followed how the programme was run, maybe the RM1 million might not be enough,” he said.

Upko left BN after the May 9 general election last year and pledged allegiance to the Warisan-Pakatan Harapan pact and the three parties subsequently formed a coalition government in Sabah.