KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has nixed Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s suggestion that it release RM10 million in winter aid to the Palestinians during its ongoing investigation of Aman Palestin.
MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki said it is still investigating the veracity of the transactions the NGO is accused of making, and cannot unfreeze its accounts until the probe is completed.
“MACC cannot simply release the funds until all investigation is completed and clarity is obtained over the accountable use of public donations amounting to millions.
“As the main anti-corruption enforcement body, MACC views this case seriously as it is a matter of public interest, and will likely set a precedent on how public donations can and cannot be used,” he said in a statement.
Mahathir had called on MACC yesterday to permit Aman Palestin to deliver winter aid to war-torn countries in the Middle East, while the investigation is going on.
He said that by freezing the NGO’s accounts, resulting in the suspension of winter aid, MACC was concurrently penalising the Palestinian people.
On Nov 21, the anti-graft agency had frozen 41 bank accounts belonging to Aman Palestin and several other companies – which had a combined total of RM15.8 million – as part of its investigation into the alleged misappropriation of RM70 million by the NGO.
The investigation involves claims that the NGO funnelled the money into these companies.
The case is being probed under the MACC Act 2009, the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, and the Penal Code.
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