Asia Malaysia Najib's party is worth billions but will crowdfund amid anti-corruption backlash

Najib’s party is worth billions but will crowdfund amid anti-corruption backlash

Embattled party President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says the party has launched its crowdfunding campaign to finance its activities following the civil forfeiture suit filed on its party accounts by anti-graft busters

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Umno, the largest Malay party in Malaysia with more Malay MP’s in Parliament will crowdfund its political activities to raise the much-needed cash for its political survival.

Embattled party President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says the party has launched its crowdfunding campaign to finance its activities following the civil forfeiture suit filed on its party accounts by anti-graft busters.

The Malaysian Anti-Corrup­tion Commission (MACC) filed a suit claiming the party received money siphoned from the now global 1MDB scandal.

He said the public exercise aims to collect money to finance its administration and activities, especially its preparations for the next general election.

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It is agreed among bloggers and some political news portals that Umno once had assets worth RM100 billion. But these were under proxies, trustees and nominees.

“UMNO president and its treasurer, who happens to be Zahid Hamidi and Tengku Adnan respectively, are a handful of leaders currently possessed (sic) the information of all the asset holders,” said pro-Pakatan Harapan Finance Twitter on July 11.

According to Raja Petra Kamaruddin or RPK, the billions were made during Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s time and a majority of the proxies report to the PM.

Finance Twitter says less than RM1 billion of this RM100 billion is in Umno’s name.

Umno recently sold shares it owned in local news outlets including the Media Prima which controls the TV3 television station and the New Straits Times newspaper.

It also sold shares in Utusan, the Malay-language newspaper this week. The shares in Media Prima and Utusan were bought by a known Mahathir crony, Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary.

Syed Mokhtar also owns a business daily, The Malaysian Reserve.

This is not the first crowdfunding for a Malaysian political party. The Party Socialist Malaysia has tried to crowdfund in elections in the past.

A young Malaysian set up a fundraising page to crowdfund towards reducing the country’s debt after the government announced the debt level was RM1 trillion.

Nik Shazarina Bakti, a legal officer at Sisters in Islam (SIS), launched the campaign to gather Malaysians and the rest of the world to help contribute towards the cause.

-/TISG

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