Govt to return RM21.7m 1MDB-related funds forfeited from political parties, individuals and companies

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 30 — The Malaysian government will return some RM21.7 million forfeited from several political entities, individuals and private companies in relation to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds received from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

At today’s hearing at the Court of Appeal, deputy public prosecutor Kamal Baharin Omar informed a three-member panel of the prosecution’s intent to withdraw its appeal against 11 respondents after obtaining the latest instructions.

“We filed a notice of discontinuance last Friday,” Kamal Baharin told Court of Appeal judge Datuk Seri Kamaludin Md Said who chaired the bench alongside judges Datuk Abu Bakar Jais and Datuk Supang Lian.

The court later ordered for the monies totalling RM21,771,626.87 to be returned to the 11 respondents namely Sim Sai Hoon (RM41,261.64), Johor Umno Liaison Committee (RM677,872.55), Jakel Trading Sdn Bhd (RM10,747,042.77), Barisan Nasional Johor Bahru division (RM957,396.65), Yayasan Persatuan Bekas Anggota Kemas Malaysia (RM100,000), Jakel Trading (RM628,314), Media Edge CIA (M) Sdn Bhd (RM4,631,602), Aga Touch (M) Sdn Bhd (RM3,00,000), Kasitah Gaddam (RM100,000), Sarawak United People’s Party (RM188,138.26) and Umno Pekan division (RM700,000).

Separately, three other parties are appealing a forfeiture order for the sum of RM2.1 million made by the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

They are namely Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (RM1,000,000), MCA Pahang State liaison committee (RM835,258.19) and Rohizah Ahmad and six others (RM265,146.16).

For the aforementioned matter, Kamaludin informed the prosecution there must be consistency in its decision, as the latter cannot 'blow hot and cold' by deciding to withdraw the appeal in the 11 cases while proceeding to oppose the appeal in the three cases.

In response, Kamal Baharin said the legal representation in the three cases was at liberty to make representations to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).

They were among the 41 organisations and entities that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) wanted to forfeit funds from since they were alleged to have received the funds from Najib’s bank account.

The forfeiture application is made under Section 56 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, where the forfeiture is made without the prosecution of the individuals, company, or parties concerned.

In 2019, then MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya announced the filing of forfeiture suits to recover RM270 million belonging to 1MDB.

Some of the recipients have since returned the money to MACC.

Najib is currently serving a 12-year jail sentence after the Federal Court upheld his conviction for abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case. SRC is a former subsidiary of 1MDB. He was also given an RM210 million fine.

Case management has been fixed for March 28.