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Act like a govt, Muhyiddin hits back at calls for probe into RM600 billion Covid expenditure

The PN chairman says he is ready to be investigated, denying the misappropriation of any money during his time as prime minister.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin.
Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin.

Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin today responded to police reports against him over the alleged expenditure of RM600 billion during his time as prime minister, saying he is ready to be investigated while hitting out at his accusers from Pakatan Harapan (PH). 

In a statement, he said he was unsure where the figure of RM600 billion had come from, suggesting that it was a reference to the economic stimulus packages worth RM530 billion he had implemented at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Of this amount, he said, a large portion had been non-fiscal and did not involve government expenditure. 

"This includes the i-Lestari, i-Sinar, and i-Citra EPF withdrawal schemes worth RM145 billion, the reduction in EPF payments worth RM10 billion, the moratorium on bank loan payments for individuals and companies worth RM180 billion, government guarantees for company loans worth RM80 billion, and other initiatives aimed at cushioning the burden on individuals and businesses," he said. 

"It is impossible for me to have misappropriated this money as it was individual or bank spending that did not involve government expenditure. 

"I, as prime minister at the time, did not have any authority over the use of this money." 

Amanah's Hulu Langat MP Sany Hamzan had lodged a police report over the matter, in addition to pushing for a royal commission of inquiry.

Muhyiddin today said that Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil, who was recently appointed as digital communications minister, had also made the same claim against him. 

Citing a statement by the finance minister on June 29, 2021, he said the expenditure involving government money in the form of fiscal injections had been worth RM83 billion. 

"Not a single sen of this money went into my personal account," he added. 

"It doesn't make sense that the money meant for public aid, directly deposited into people's accounts, could be diverted into mine." 

If such a thing had happened, he said, it would have been revealed in the audit findings by the National Audit Department (JAN) with a report presented in Parliament by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). 

"It would be impossible for JAN or PAC to overlook this," he added. "This is no small matter." 

Muhyiddin also rubbished talk that he blocked investigations into the matter, saying he had resigned as prime minister more than a year ago. 

"Over the past few days since taking over the government, PH has unabashedly been using the police to pressure leaders who are not in line with them," he said. 

"This is a clear attempt at silencing dissent, and differs vastly from their promises of institutional reform to guarantee the independence of the country's institutions without political interference, including by the police." 

Adding that he was ready to be investigated, he urged politicians from PH and Umno to refrain from pointing fingers at others simply to "cover up the weaknesses of the government which is only a few days old because it doesn't know how to resolve the problems of the people".

"You have become the government, act like a government," he said. "Enough of the political theatrics, the people want to see what the government's plans for them are."