Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Najib’s explanation on SRC’s returned fund shows ‘cover up’, says Pua

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's explanation on SRC International's RM170 million fund transfer is "feeble" and suggests a cover-up, said DAP lawmaker Tony Pua. Najib, who is also finance minister, yesterday said SRC International paid Putra Perdana Construction the RM170 million in 2014 for a "turnkey" construction project that was later cancelled, and received a full refund.  But Pua noted that Najib's explanation was not substantiated with any details or evidence, and that the "mega project" had never been mentioned in public before. He added it was strange that SRC International, a finance ministry-owned company principally involved in energy resources and mining, would conduct a million ringgit deal on a "mid-sized local construction project". "Hence, the utterly feeble reply provided by the minister lends credence to the view that the unnamed fictitious project was made up in order to cover up illicit transactions between SRC International and Putra Perdana Construction," said Pua. The RM170 million transfer came to light in several documents that were shown to the press by Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali during a press conference in January. It showed that SRC International transferred RM170 million to Putra Perdana Construction between July 8 and August 8, 2014. Putra Perdana Construction, in turn, transferred RM34.99 million to Permai Binaraya, which transferred RM27 million to a private bank account ending with the number "880". Funds transferred to the "880" account were used to pay for Najib's Visa and MasterCard bills amounting to RM3.2 million, according to Apandi's charts. Najib however said yesterday that SRC International had no information about any money transferred to his accounts. The finance minister added that he did not need to clarify SRC International's money trail to the Dewan Rakyat because the information came from a news report. "The failure to provide an answer to the 170 million is unacceptable because the information was not 'based on a news report' but instead based on a chart openly displayed by the A-G during a press conference," said Pua today. "The finance minister's refusal to answer a perfectly valid question arising from information provided by the A-G himself demonstrates the utter contempt the minister has for Parliament." On January 26, Apandi said Najib had not committed any wrongdoing after having examined the investigation papers involving SRC International and the RM2.6 billion donation. This was because Najib was unaware SRC International had transferred money into his accounts, and was under the impression the funds were part of the donation he received from the Saudi royal family, said Apandi. – March 10, 2016.]]>

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