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Don't meddle in RM600 billion police probe, Bersatu tells home minister

Dr Afif Bahardin says Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has no business discussing the specifics of the investigation with the IGP.

Staff Writers
3 minute read
Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail with ministry secretary-general Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz (left) and top cop Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani (right) at a press conference in Putrajaya yesterday. Photo: Bernama
Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail with ministry secretary-general Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz (left) and top cop Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani (right) at a press conference in Putrajaya yesterday. Photo: Bernama

Bersatu leader Dr Afif Bahardin today lashed out at Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail for saying he would hold further discussions on allegations of wrongful expenditure to the tune of RM600 billion with the top cop, calling this "clear political interference in directing the police on how to conduct its work". 

In a statement, the Shah Alam Bersatu deputy division chief said Saifuddin had "no business" discussing the specifics of investigations with the inspector-general. 

"That is the jurisdiction of the police, and there must be no political or ministerial interference," he said. 

Saifuddin said yesterday that he would speak with Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani about the claim of misappropriation said to have taken place during Muhyiddin Yassin's administration. 

"Of course I will get views from the relevant investigative body, if it is related to the police, it is within our jurisdiction. If it’s related to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) then surely they will investigate," he said at a press conference in Putrajaya. 

MACC subsequently said that an investigation paper had been opened on the matter. 

Afif said the home minister's responsibility was to give policy directives to investigative bodies "where appropriate" and oversee national security.

"It is not to interfere in any specific investigations," he said. 

He also took aim at Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, accusing him of making the claim without any evidence to back it up. 

"That Pakatan Harapan leaders, who claim to be championing democratic reforms, good governance and the independence of institutions, are now publicly admitting discussing investigative matters involving their political opponents with the police is shocking and unprecedented," he said.

"Here, the prime minister makes daily accusations against the chairman of his political opponent Perikatan Nasional (PN), and the home minister discusses the investigation on the same accusation with the IGP. 

"In short, PH accuses and then PH investigates its own accusation. While this may be usual in countries such as North Korea, it is repugnant in Malaysia which is supposed to be a democratic nation."

Afif also disputed the figure of RM600 billion, saying the correct sum was only RM530 billion including the value of Employees Provident Fund withdrawals and bank moratoriums.

"In fact, only RM80 billion was disbursed in cash to aid the people." 

Anwar said yesterday that based on the information obtained, there were some processes and procedures that were not followed by the PN government, adding that there were companies with family interests involved.

He also said that Muhyiddin's statement on the matter had been "misleading".

"It is as if the government spent so much money for the people, (but) a large amount is actually EPF money which belongs to the people. I commented on this two years ago in Parliament.

"The people thought the government was spending so much (for them). Now he (Muhyiddin) has admitted, actually, it was not the government’s money because the money is EPF money and money belonging to banks through the moratorium.

"But there are other tens of billions of ringgit, which shows there was a violation of the rules," he said.

Billions worth of financial packages ranging from cash dispersals to the suspension of loan repayments were announced by Muhyiddin during his administration at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In August, the government said some RM145 billion had been withdrawn by EPF members under the various emergency withdrawal programmes.