WITH the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) zeroing in on Bersatu, the writing on the wall is that PAS, too, is almost certain to be dealt a similar fate.
In welcoming the graft buster’s probe into Bersatu’s sources of funding by freezing the party’s bank accounts, UMNO information chief Datuk Isham Jalil has suggested that MACC should also train its rifle on the former’s close ally PAS by zooming into the financial sources of the Islamist party.
Isham who was not surprised by the freezing of Bersatu’s bank accounts said PAS’ accounts and the party’s involvement in the abuse of COVID-19 funds must not be overlooked as part of MACC’s on-going investigation.
“It’s great…but I hope MACC will not stop with Bersatu … I wonder when will be PAS’ turn,” he was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.
In hindsight, the UMNO supreme council member described the freezing of bank accounts as “not something extraordinary” given that UMNO, too, had experienced such action in the aftermath of the 14th General Election (GE14).
“If there is any reasonable suspicion that proceeds from illegal activities has entered into Bersatu’s accounts, then the MACC must take the necessary action,” he pointed out. “I am sure that the suspicion is evidence based and valid…otherwise why would they freeze the accounts.”
Isham further noted that even UMNO was surprised as to how Bersatu was able to spend so much money during the recently concluded GE15 when many other political parties had struggled to pay for their election campaign activities.
“At that time – which was so soon after the COVID-19 pandemic – only Bersatu and Perikatan Nasional (PN) could afford to spend so much on their election campaigns,” he justified. “Their surprising lavish spending in GE15 did raise doubts.”
However, Isham’s ‘exuberance’ for PAS to be probed by MACC and eventually have its bank accounts frozen did not resonate with PAS Youth chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari.
“MACC is obviously welcomed to make an inquiry. But shouldn’t we start first with people who launched election donations but use his personal bank account?” he took a swipe at Isham in reference to the fundraising campaign mooted by Isham via his personal Bank Rakyat account for him to contest in GE15.
“What’s worse, this kind of person is the one who asks to investigate other parties’ accounts. Or as a matter of fact, there’s no more credibility left?” – Feb 2, 2023