Umno resorting to crowdfunding for political activities, says Zahid

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno is resorting to crowdfunding to finance its political and management activities.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said this was the first time Umno was asking for donations from its members and also public supporters.

“This is the first time we are crowdfunding because right now, as you know, the biggest obstacle we face is funding political activities,” he told reporters after chairing an Umno Supreme Council meeting, his first after his six-month garden leave.

He said the financial strain was due to unfair and “illegal” action towards Umno.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had previously said Umno’s bank accounts will remain frozen throughout the probe into the 1MDB scandal.

Lim told the Dewan Rakyat in March that the government will review the decision if it was found that their accounts were not related to 1MDB.

Umno’s bank accounts had previously been frozen under the Anti-Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Amla) in the middle of last year.

Zahid said he was confident many members of the public sympathised with the party and would donate to the fund.

He said a “professional body” will be appointed to work with Umno to ensure the money came from legitimate sources.

On a separate matter, Umno Supreme Council members have unanimously rejected collaboration with parties “conspiring” with DAP.

Zahid said neither Umno nor PAS will collaborate with such parties, but were open to discussions to hear their views.

He added that this was because DAP was seen to have a hidden agenda, with its cabinet ministers carrying out policies based on the party’s agenda instead of national interests.

He also said the Supreme Council had given the sole mandate to the party president to represent Umno at any political deliberations with parties outside Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS.

Meanwhile, Zahid added that the Supreme Council members had unanimously accepted the Umno-PAS collaboration and a memorandum of understanding will be signed between the two parties soon.

He said the secretary-general of both parties will be publishing a joint statement informing the date of the signing tomorrow.