PETALING JAYA: Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has called on the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration to account for the US$50 million (RM218 million) donated by the Qatar Development Fund for Rohingya refugees in Malaysia.
In a Facebook post today, the Umno president rubbished claims on social media the money was channelled into his private account.
“The allegations are clearly slanderous and are meant to humiliate me,” he said.
Zahid said the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government had tried to source donations for the Rohingya refugees in the country and Qatar had agreed to donate US$50 million.
However, the change in government after the 2018 general election meant the donation was received by the PH administration.
He provided a link to a post on former deputy prime minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s Facebook page on Nov 25, 2018, which thanked the Qatari government for a US$50 million donation for programmes to help Rohingya refugees in Malaysia.
“Pakatan Harapan has to give a detailed explanation about the funds and not just blame Barisan Nasional,” he said.
Zahid, who is also the former home minister, had said yesterday the Malaysian government collaborated with the Qatar Development Fund in three projects: to provide skills training in agriculture and manufacturing, education for Rohingya children, and a medical insurance scheme.
Amid a rise in xenophobic comments about Rohingya refugees, he said the BN government had allowed the Rohingya community in Malaysia to seek work in selected sectors so they could fend for themselves even though UNHCR refugees were usually barred from employment or to engage in business.
Among Malaysia’s contributions were providing RM4 million in food supplies and equipment to the Rohingya refugees at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border as well as constructing a RM3.5 million hospital at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, the world’s biggest refugee centre.
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