Malaysiakini NEWS

Press group to discuss the return of 1MDB-linked funds

Published:  |  Modified:

The Penang Press Club will convene an emergency meeting to discuss the possible return of an RM50,000 1MDB-linked donation the group received several years ago.

Penang Press Club president Wong Soon Eng was quoted by Free Malaysia Today as saying the club would hold the meeting tomorrow as it required a formal decision to be made for the money to be returned to the government.

“We will go through the proper channels to return the money to the relevant parties. A motion to refund the money will be tabled at our meeting this Thursday,” Wong reportedly said in a report filed by the online news portal last night.

The Penang Press Club is among 103 groups to have received RM2.2 million in total from the 1Malaysia-Penang Welfare Club back in 2013, during a dinner attended by fugitive tycoon Low Taek Jho, who is widely known as Jho Low.

Jho Low, a Penang born financier, is wanted in Malaysia and several other countries as he is believed to be the mastermind behind the multi-billion dollar 1MDB scandal. He has denied any wrongdoing.

READ MORE: Who's who in the civil forfeiture notice against Najib and associates

Other press groups to have received funds from the 1Malaysia-Penang Welfare Club include the Penang Chinese Newspaper Reporters and Photographers Association (Pewaju) and Journalists Union of North Malaya.

The 1Malaysia-Penang Welfare Club fund was de-registered in 2014.

Pewaju had announced last year that the money it received had been channelled to two charitable causes in 2015.

This after former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng, who is now the finance minister, yesterday called on press groups to voluntarily return the monies received from 1MDB Foundation, 1MDB or 1MDB charity club before the MACC freezes their accounts.

Lim was reported to have made the call based on a comprehensive list released by his ministry, which included 1MDB-related beneficiaries.

Last Friday, the MACC filed civil forfeiture suits worth RM270 million against 41 local individuals and groups - the largest forfeiture suit in Malaysian history.

The monies were allegedly distributed to the respondents from former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak's personal AmBank account, purportedly created to receive 1MDB money.

In an interview with Malaysiakini last year, Lim had also urged the Chinese media to condemn press groups for receiving money from the 1Malaysia-Penang Welfare Club, as it was money likely misappropriated from 1MDB.

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