'Corrupted' leaders of UmnoPRIYA PUBALAN
The United Malays National Organisation, popularly known as Umno is the largest and oldest political party that represents the voices of the Malays in this country since 1946.
There are several popular faces of the Umno leadership who are now infamously known for corruption, although some have left the party and formed their own coalitions.
And then, there is also someone residing in ‘Kajang Prison’ in present time.
Embezzlements, money laundering, bribery, political ‘donations” are not something new to the party today.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak (Umno), Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (Umno-PN), Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (Umno), Tun Mahathir Mohamad (Umno-Bersatu) and all-time luxurious “favourite” former first lady Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (Umno).
About eight months ago, Channel News Asia reported that Mahathir has received RM2.6 million as political donation that was wired to his newly-formed political party, Bersatu, which he co-founded in 2016.
Two separate transactions (RM1.3 million each) took place after the 14th General Election (GE14) in August and September 2018 respectively to the Bersatu’s bank account.
Mahathir has not been charged with any counts of corruption for receiving the political “donations”.
This was during Zahid’s corruption trial in July, last year, where a key witness told the Shah Alam High Court that a firm named Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) gave the amount to Mahathir for political funding purposes.
Meanwhile, Zahid tops the list in accumulating the most criminal charges for corruption among all Umno leaders bringing to a total of 87 counts.
(a) Thirty three counts of receiving bribes (RM42 million) from UKSB to extend the firm’s contract as the operator for one-stop centre in China and supply of the VLN integrated system.
(b) Seven counts of obtaining S$1.15 million, RM3 million, 15,000 Swiss francs and US$15,000 for himself from the same company in connection with his official duties.
(c) Forty seven corruption charges in relation to Yayasan Akalbudi, 12 out of which were for criminal breach of trust (CBT), graft (eight) and money laundering (27) involving tens of millions of ringgit during his tenure as the Home Minister.
Zahid is a free man today, acquitted from all charges related to UKSB, but still on trial for the Yayasan Akalbudi case.
Moving on to our next hero, the most popular one globally, Najib who is currently serving his 12-year sentence in the Kajang Prison for 42 corruption charges.
Abuse of power, CBT, money laundering, audit report tampering are probably Najib’s middle name.
He was infamous for the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal involving RM2.6 billion which turned Malaysia into international headlines for all the wrong reasons besides our missing plane, MH370.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Najib, 70, was pursuing his masters’ degree from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) from the local prison to keep himself busy.
Moving forward, our Covid-19 interim Prime Minister, Muhyiddin who led the height during the pandemic has been allegedly accused of bribery and money laundering through his government’s Covid-19 spending funds, amounting to some RM427.5 million.
He is slapped with four counts of abuse of power involving RM232.5 million and two counts of money laundering involving RM195 million.
If convicted, he faces 20 years in prison, superseding Najib’s sentence with potentially hefty fines.
He entered a not guilty plea in court early this month and was released on bail, but passport being withheld.
The 75-year old man is a free man today after bail was set at RM2 million with two sureties.
Last but not least, the rose among the thorns, Rosmah was slapped with a total of 20 corruption charges including money laundering and bribery over a RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project.
She was found guilty on Sept 1, last year of three counts of graft in the project involving 369 rural schools in Sarawak.
Rosmah, who is Najib’s wife, was sentenced to 10 years' jail and fined a whopping RM970 million, the largest amount imposed by the High Court for a graft case as of date.
High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said if Rosmah fails to pay the fine, she will be liable to a total of 30 years in jail.
The High Court, however, granted her a stay of execution of the imprisonment term and fine pending her appeal to the Court of Appeal.
Two months later, in December, as expected Rosmah filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal to recuse Zaini from hearing her money laundering and tax evasion case, claiming a risk of the judge being prejudiced and biased against her, given that Zaini had presided over her RM1.25 billion solar hybrid graft trial.
Rosmah is a free woman today and her trial begins in two months (May 12).
Most leaders of Umno (former and present) are free men today except Najib and Mahathir.
Despite the corruption allegations, only Najib is currently facing the music thus far.
Aside from those mentioned earlier, there are other Umno leaders such as Umno treasurer-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (Ku Nan), Sabah Umno chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, Supreme Council member Tan Sri Musa Aman, who are also popular for the same reasons and facing their trials over the years.
This research of corrupted Umno leaders is not biased as corruption cases are being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for DAP’s Lim Guan Eng, P. Ramasamy and many other political leaders.
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of Sinar Daily.