KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno says the investigation into its chief Bung Moktar Radin comes as no surprise, adding that it has been the government’s trend to use the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against the opposition during elections.
Sabah Umno communication and strategic director Ghazalie Ansing said the state chapter had expected a move against its leaders ahead of the Sandakan by-election on May 11.
“During the Cameron Highlands by-election, former prime minister Najib Razak saw his graft charges suddenly increased,” he told FMT.
“In Semenyih, it was the RM90 million allegedly channelled into the accounts of PAS leaders. At Rantau, the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Mohamad Hasan was linked to a RM10 million property in London, implying that he was corrupt.
“So when Bung Moktar suddenly found himself under MACC investigation, it wasn’t surprising. In fact, it was expected,” he said.
Ghazalie said Pakatan Harapan (PH) knew there was a risk that it would lose the Sandakan seat, adding that support for the government had been steadily dropping over the past year.
“The people now realise BN was the stabilising factor in the country’s economy and unity. Besides, Umno still has healthy support in Sandakan, and this investigation of an old case is probably meant to sabotage the candidate that Sabah Umno backs, namely Parti Bersatu Sabah’s (PBS) Linda Tsen,” he said.
Ghazalie, who is also the acting Tawau Umno division chief, called the investigation an attempt by the PH government to smear Bung Moktar’s image, adding that this was irresponsible and uncalled for.
“Sabahans have started coming back to Sabah Umno in its agenda to fight for the rights of the natives and the state. Now, PH realises that Umno’s presence in the Sandakan by-election has brought huge positive effects and even threatens the chances of the DAP candidate.
“What is the point of reopening an old case that has no basis to review in order to charge Bung Moktar in court?” he said.
He urged Sabah Umno members, who number around 500,000, to give their full support and show solidarity with their chief.
Bung Moktar, the Kinabatangan MP, is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow to be charged in an alleged corruption case. He and his wife Zizie Izzette A Samad went to the MACC office in Kuala Lumpur yesterday where they were detained at 10.50am and 11.15am respectively.
Ghazalie said after that, Bung Moktar would join Sabah Umno to help campaign for Tsen in Sandakan.