(The Edge) – Malaysia opposition party Pakatan Harapan Tuesday (Oct 31) announced its pledge to clean Malaysia from corruption as part of its manifesto for the coming general election.
Pakatan Harapan chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said during the first 100 days of the party in power, it would:
1. Arrest “Malaysia Official 1” and other “sharks”.
2. Set up a royal commission inquiry to investigate the misappropriate of funds in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and Felda,
3. Set up an independent body to return the asset and people’s money stolen and misappropriate through corruption,
4. To make MACC an independent body that reports directly to Parliament.
5. To eliminate direct negotiations for government contracts.
“Malaysian Official 1” was first referenced in a civil lawsuit filed by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in July 2016 to recover more than US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) in assets embezzled from state fund 1MDB.
In the lawsuit, “Malaysian Official 1” was mentioned more than 30 times. It was alleged that this official received some US$681 million of the stolen money, and returned most of it.
A Malaysian federal minister later admitted that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is the “Malaysian Official 1”.
Mr Najib has denied any wrongdoing in the 1MDB scandal, which erupted last year, following reports that RM2.6 billion (S$864 million) had been deposited into his private accounts, as well as of financial irregularities in the state investment vehicle.
Malaysia’s Attorney-General has cleared Mr Najib of wrongdoing, saying that the money in his bank account was a political donation from the Saudi royal family, and that the bulk of it has been returned.
Other leaders present at the Pakatan Harapan press conference include the party’s president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Armada youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, DAP leaders Teresa Kok and Liew Chin Tong among others.
The pledge to fight corruption is not as new as Pakatan Harapan has repeated it during its many roadshows across the country.
The latest was at the Love Malaysia, End Kleptocracy rally in Petaling Jaya on Oct 14.