Malaysiakini News

Why not reclaim money if it's indeed 'clean', MP asks CID chief

Published:  |  Modified:

Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin has challenged Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd to reclaim his RM971,800 seized by the Australian authorities by engaging in court action if it indeed is "clean money".

In a statement today, the Amanah lawmaker said it was insufficient for inspector-general of police Mohamad Fuzi Harun to exonerate his colleague by claiming they had evidence that the money was raised by selling Wan Ahmad's house in Shah Alam to fund his children's education in Australia.

"I pity the IGP. He appears to be very naive; as naive as leaders from the 'holy party'.

"If it is indeed clean money, why did the CID director refuse to reclaim it from Australia by engaging a lawyer there, and tender the evidence? This is the (right) way, IGP," Hanipa said.

Not reclaiming the rightful ownership of the seized fund was as "strange" as those who said there is no proof that luxury yacht Equanimity belongs to businessperson Jho Low, when Low himself had condemned the seizure as an overreach, Hanipa added.

"Lastly, showing evidence is not enough, dear IGP. The evidence must be duly tested in Australia, through an application to reclaim the RM971,800. Only then, your defence will be reasonable, IGP.

"Another thing, don't think only you have evidence, for the Australian police may have more evidence. Allah knows best," Hanipa added.

Australian newspaper Sydney Morning Herald had last week, reported that the Sydney bank account of Wan Ahmad (photo above), which contained the close to RM1 million in funds, was frozen, alleging it was proceeds of crime or laundered money.

Wan Ahmad has said that he does not intend to reclaim the money as court action in Australia would be too expensive.

‘No country bumpkin’

Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh, meanwhile, criticised Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (photo) for saying that Wan Ahmad was possibly ignorant of Australian law, which requires sums over A$10,000 to be declared.

“What is Zahid’s message to the world here? Is he saying that one of the country’s most senior police officers was ignorant of the law, and that its OK that he was?” the DAP lawmaker asked.

“Wan Ahmad is no country bumpkin who might be forgiven for being ignorant of the law. He is the CID director of Bukit Aman, and must surely have knowledge of such elementary accounting procedure and practice in Australia.

“Even a student opening an account for the first time in Australia would have been advised of the same,” he added.

Ramkarpal also questioned why Australian authorities were still investigating the matter if such a simple explanation could absolve Wan Ahmad of any liability, as it did here.

“It is unlikely that the said authorities will cease such investigations merely because Zahid is satisfied with Wan Ahmad’s explanation, or that he had been cleared by Bukit Aman in an internal probe,” he said.

Yesterday, the DAP lawmaker took issue with the MACC stating that it would wait for a report to be lodged on the matter before launching an investigation.

He said the ongoing probe being conducted by Australian police was enough for the commission to commence its own.

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