New Delhi: In a big blow to former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin-led opposition party, Malaysian anti-corruption authorities have frozen the bank accounts of Bersatu party amid an investigation that the pro-Malay group said was an attempt to destroy its credibility, according to a report.
Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin on Wednesday accused the ruling administration of using a government agency as a tool to “kill” the party and Perikatan Nasional coalition’s credibility.
“The Bersatu party will cooperate in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s probe in order to quickly put an end to the slander thrown its way,” a Bloomberg report quoted Zainudin as saying.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim after taking office had said that “tens of billions of ringgit” in Covid-19 relief was allocated without due procedure during Muhyiddin Yassin’s tenure as the prime minister.
However, Muhyiddin denied any wrongdoing.
Muhyiddin, who was Malaysia’s prime minister from March 2020 to August 2021, fought a tight election race with Anwar in November that resulted in a hung parliament.
The investigation is a setback for Bersatu and the larger Perikatan Nasional coalition it heads as it prepares to take on Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan coalition in six state elections this year. In the general election, where it finished second to Pakatan Harapan, the conservative Perikatan Nasional sought to capitalise on the unexpected gains it had gained.
The investigation is being carried out under the MACC Act and the Anti-money Laundering, Anti-terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act, the local media reported, citing MACC Chief Azam Baki.
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s accounts were frozen a fortnight ago as the party is being probed, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Azam Baki was quoted as saying by The Star on Wednesday.
Azam said the investigation was unrelated to the Covid-19 funds and asked that his officers be given space to carry out their work, the report added.
While the local polls would have no direct bearing on the balance of power in parliament, they will be a measure of the new government’s popularity among the public. Anwar is mulling working with rival-turned-ally Barisan Nasional to win the polls and strengthen his leadership in a country’s that’s seen four prime ministers in four years, according to the report.
“Bersatu expresses its regret on the move by the PH-BN government to use government agencies as a tool to achieve its political goal of destroying Bersatu and Perikatan Nasional’s credibility,” Hamzah was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.
“We are confident that the people are always aware of PH-BN’s disgusting strategy to divert their attention away from the government’s weaknesses, failures and nepotism,” he added.
With inputs from agencies
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