KUALA LUMPUR: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today maintained that an MCA-linked cooperative was in fact connected to 1MDB despite attempts by Koperasi Jayadiri Malaysia Bhd (Kojadi) to distance itself from the controversy over a grant to provide micro-credit facilities for its members.
He told the Dewan Rakyat that other parties had returned RM6 million to Yayasan 1MDB.
“So to say that the funds Kojadi received had nothing to do with 1MDB is false as Yayasan 1MDB’s accounts show that RM6 million (from others recipients) was returned,” he said when responding to Wong Kah Woh (PH-Ipoh Timur) who asked about the claim by Kojadi’s chairman that he was prevented from returning 1MDB funds.
Lim earlier said 1MDB had disbursed funds to several political parties, including MCA, MIC and Umno.
Kojadi said last month that the RM15 million grant had nothing to do with the accounts of former prime minister Najib Razak.
This was after its now-suspended chairman Ng Peng Hay claimed that MCA president Wee Ka Siong had stopped him from meeting the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over 1MDB-linked funds.
This was denied by Kojadi.
Ng’s claim followed MACC’s announcement of civil forfeiture suits against 41 individuals and entities said to have received money from 1MDB.
Earlier this month, Wee questioned how the money received by Kojadi from Yayasan 1MDB was deemed illegal as RM1.03 million had been paid in income tax.
Speaking today, Lim praised Ng, saying he had been brave enough to restore Kojadi’s reputation.
“I hope this matter will not be prolonged,” he added. “Do not suspend those who want to return 1MDB money to the government but protect those who do not want to return the funds. That would be immoral and unethical.”
He also said his ministry would investigate whether Kojadi had received other government funds, including from the finance ministry.