Aside from all those jokes about ‘donations’ floating around in social media, 10 key questions come to mind about that RM2.6bn “donation”:
- Why didn’t Najib tell us straight off that this was a donation when the WSJ first broke the story?
- If he was a trustee for Umno funds, why was the money put into an account bearing his name? Is there a trust document to that effect and who signed it?
- Who is the donor?
- Did Bank Negara flag these funds and request more details?
- Why did Umno deputy president Muhyiddin appear to be in the dark about the funds? Was the Umno supreme council aware of this “donation”?
- What was the money actually used for? If it was used for election funding, did the amount allocated exceed the permissible level of funding for each constituency? Is the Election Commission interested in finding out how these funds were spent?
- If the donation is for Umno and from a foreign source, did Umno disclose this in its annual returns to the Registrar of Societies? (NGOs are required to disclose foreign sources of funding.)
- Are these funds taxable? Was the Income Tax Department informed?
- Was there any balance in the account when it was closed? If so, where did that go?
- Why was this donation so big? Compare it with the donations received by political parties in the UK since 2001:
These are the questions on the minds of many. (Have I missed out any other questions?)
Assuming this was really a donation (a big assumption), this raises the whole issue of funding for political parties.
Mahathir’s revelation too should be cause for concern. He said by the time he left office, Umno had over RM200m in cash and RM1.2bn worth of property/shares. He should explain to us how Umno managed to accumulate so much wealth.
A new law should be introduced to make it mandatory for all political donations to go into a party’s official bank account and not into the account of any individual. This was what Najib once proposed:
Kenyataan PM sebelum pru13 jelas semua wang sumbangan perlu masuk ke akaun parti. Amcam???
Posted by MUKHRIZ MAHATHIR FC on Monday, 3 August 2015
It is about time we have an online register of political donations for all parties. Other countries have such a register and there is no reason why we can’t as well.
That way, we can then judge if donations are given because the donor is really feeling generous or if it is a case of “You help me, I help you”. We would also be in a better position to judge how behold a political party is to the vested interests of large corporations including property developers.