No amount of praying can help Muhyiddin Yassin if indeed he had received bribes or abused his power to help families or cronies enriched themselves. Praying to the God cannot erase money trails that would implicate him of corruption and money laundering, even though it is a good tactic to trick his gullible supporters into thinking that he is a good Muslim who would never steal money.
However, when the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) detained the former prime minister after he was questioned on Thursday (March 9), it simply means the anti-graft agency has sufficient evidence to put him behind bars. Otherwise, the Attorney General’s Chambers would not have given the green light for the prosecution to charge a former premier.
Of course, the 75-year-old disgraced 8th Prime Minister of Malaysia said he was not guilty of corruption and that the allegations against him were politically motivated. Hilariously, that was exactly what his former boss – former PM Najib Razak – said too when he was arrested and charged in 2018 for stealing billions of dollars in the infamous 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.
In fact, Najib had done more than just praying as part of his scheme to hoodwink loyalists. His political drama included taking dozens of “sumpah laknat” or Islamic oath swearing his innocence on the holy Quran / Koran in mosques. Yet, the God refused to exonerate him of corruption charges. Like Muhyiddin, Najib had lied too often that even the God avoided him with a 10-foot pole
To be charged tomorrow (March 10), Muhyiddin, whose given name is Mahiaddin, will be the country’s second leader to be indicted after leaving office. Like Najib, he will be slapped with multiple corruption charges. Mr Najib began a 12-year jail term in August 2022 after losing his final appeal in the first of several corruption trials. And Muhyiddin could join him in prison.
Muhyiddin, the traitor who betrayed his friends in the democratically-elected Pakatan Harapan government, snatched power via a political coup in March 2020 by working with defeated Barisan Nasional and religious extremist PAS Islamist party. However, his fragile backdoor government collapsed in August 2021 – just 17 months – after ally UMNO withdrew support for him.
Facing at least 7 charges related to corruption, abuse of power and money laundering, Mr Muhyiddin has a bigger problem than Najib. The MACC started questioning Najib in May 2018, and took 4 months (September 2018) later before it could officially arrest and charge him. In comparison, Muhyiddin was grilled only last month (Feb 16), and took only 3 weeks to charge him.
This means Muhyiddin’s case is either straight forward or is overwhelmed with evidence, so much so that the anti-corruption agency could not find any excuse to drag anymore. But he has no one to blame but himself. He thought he was clever when pre-emptively published the account statement after rumours spread that his political party’s account has been frozen.
The plan to show that Bersatu or Malaysian United Indigenous Party did not receive RM4 billion from the RM92.5 billion Economic Stimulus Package fund, however, has raised more questions than answers. It was a public admission that the party had received kickbacks in exchange for projects during the dark era of emergency rule when Muhyiddin ruled like a dictator.
The party’s account shows a balance RM28.4 million in 2020 and RM64.6 million in 2021. Interestingly, in 2020, Bersatu received RM109 million in so-called donations. The next year, it received RM148 million in yet another round of dubious donations. In total, it had received RM257 million in donations in just two years. Exactly who would be so generous to donate so much money to Bersatu?
So far, more than 15 individuals, including Bersatu leaders and contractors, had been interrogated by the anti-graft agency. This came after the MACC raided 8 government agencies and 9 companies in Dec 2022, leading to discovery that at least 5 middlemen of several companies were involved in obtaining projects worth between RM50 million and RM500 million through direct negotiations.
The contractors who had been grilled by the anti-graft agency admitted that they agreed to pay a commission of 3% to 5% to secure projects from those middlemen. After it was established that 10 contractors had paid more than RM300 million in kickbacks disguised as donations to Muhyiddin’s party, Bersatu’s accounts were frozen under MACC Act 2009 and anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing law.
The MACC has not even completed the investigations on the entire RM92.5 billion Economic Stimulus Package, but just a fraction involving the RM5.7 billion Jana Wibawa – only about 6%. Even then, it’s unclear if more Bersatu crooks would be charged in the Jana Wibawa programme. And it has already found compelling evidence to charge Muhyiddin.
Despite Muhyiddin’s cries that he is a victim of selective prosecution, he cannot explain how the ill-gotten money went directly to Bersatu accounts masked as donations. The MACC has at least 10 suspects (contractors who might have become witnesses) and more than RM300 million money trails as evidence. His argument so far has been weak – every political party receives donation.
No matter how Bersatu leaders twist and spin, they have to explain how the party, founded in 2016 and was only in power for 17 months (less than 2 years) under Muhyiddin, could accumulate a jaw-dropping RM300 million in cash. The United Malays National Organization (UMNO) only had RM194 million despite being in power for 61 years (or 76 years since its inception in 1946).
In truth, in their hunger for projects and greed to enrich themselves, Muhyiddin-led Perikatan Nasional government had recklessly awarded pre-approval projects without properly wiping their fingerprints. That’s why Wan Saiful Wan Jan credited RM6.96 million kickbacks into his own company’s bank account, creating money trails for the MACC to charge the former Bersatu information chief.
Like Najib, the arrogant Muhyiddin was over-confident of winning the 15th General Election on Nov 2022. In the worst case scenario, he and his buddy Hadi Awang thought they could get former ally UMNO to form another “Malay-Muslim” government again, and live happily ever. It was too late when they discovered UMNO president Zahid Hamidi refused to play ball and had another game plan.
Immediately after Pakatan Harapan and its traditional rival Barisan Nasional agreed to form a Unity Government, there was a complete panic within Perikatan Nasional. From “Jakarta Move” to “London Move”, Bersatu and PAS top leadership (along with 10 UMNO traitors) hatched plans to snatch power similar to the “Sheraton Move” which toppled the Pakatan Harapan government back in March 2020.
But UMNO was more interested for revenge than working with the same untrustworthy Bersatu who had backstabbed them during Muhyiddin’s 17-month stint. The Malay nationalist party leaders began pushing for investigations over Perikatan Nasional’s lavish spending during the election campaign. UMNO was mad and furious that their traditional Malay seats had been stolen through vote-buying.
During his so-called vacations in London, Muhyiddin was incredibly worried that he might suffer the same fate as Najib. After weeks in the U.K., there were fears that the ex-premier might have fled to London to avoid prosecution and never returned to face the music. The crook needed assurance that he was not a suspect in the anti-corruption investigations.
The MACC arrested a chief executive officer of a private company on the night of January 5. The 42-year-old man was detained over his role as “middleman” in brokering government projects related to Covid-19 stimulus packages worth RM92.5 billion (US$21 billion) in exchange for bribes. The suspect – Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad – turns out to be Muhyiddin’s right-hand man.
A former chief executive of Maju Assets Sdn Bhd, Adam is also Segambut divisional leader of Muhyiddin’s political party – Bersatu (Malaysian United Indigenous Party). The best part is Adam is the cousin of Muhyiddin’s son-in-law, Muhamad Adlan Berhan, who in turn was involved in several scandals. The graft buster wanted to interview the former prime minister.
On Feb 16, when the MACC finally questioned Muhyiddin, he publicly announced that he has given his statement to the anti-graft authorities as a witness and not a suspect over the Jana Wibawa scheme. Heck, he has even thrown his political appointee former finance minister Tengku Zafrul under the bus, telling the MACC that Jana Wibawa was a scheme proposed by Zafrul.
Stunningly, MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki rubbished Muhyiddin’s claim that he was not a suspect. In fact, the former premier was the prime suspect in the shady Jana Wibawa programme. It takes a thief to catch a thief. Like it or not, without UMNO’s 60 years in “handling” the anti-graft agency, Mahiaddin might not be convinced that he was not a suspect and returned home.
Now, not only Bersatu accounts have been frozen, Mahiaddin Yassin’s passport has been confiscated to prevent him from fleeing. That’s why the Perikatan Nasional chairman has condemned – furiously – the confiscation of his passport and has challenged the travel ban in a judicial review application filed in the High Court. He has swallowed the hook, line and sinker.
Source : Finance Twitter