Nazri: Opposition suit against PM 'foolish'


SUNGAI SIPUT - Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has criticised the Opposition's move to file a civil suit against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for allegedly breaching electoral offences by having US$700mil (S$985 million) deposited into his personal account.

In describing the move as "foolish (kerja bodoh)", the Tourism and Culture Minister said the money was not spent during the election period.

"Yes, I admit the money was spent but it was before and after the elections.

"This is why I fully support the setting up of a national consultative committee and an introduction of a new law to better govern political funding," he told reporters after attending a soft launching of the Malaysian Palm Oil Association Malayan Emergency Monument and Gallery here Saturday.

On Aug 12, lawyer Tommy Thomas filed the suit on behalf of Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Datuk Saifuddin Nasution and Batu MP Tian Chua at the High Court in Jalan Duta.

On Friday, Najib announced the setting up of the committee to be chaired by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Paul Low.

Nazri also said there were no elements of corruption and the donations were for the Government to manage national projects for the good of the people.

He said Najib accepted the money without offering anything in return to the donor.

"There has to be a link such as a form of profits or other gains involved.

"In fact, the donor has close ties with Malaysia and has been contributing more than once to the country," he said.

On claims by the Opposition that the Government had spent more than the limit of RM200,000 (S$69,000) during the GE13, Nazri said each MP was required to submit a statement of expenditure after the elections.

"According to the law, we can't spend more than RM200,000 during the elections period which is around 11 to 12 days.

"But once the election is over, if I want to spend RM10bil, itu saya punya pasal lah, saya kaya (that is my business, I am rich)," he said in jest.

To a question, Nazri said as long as Bank Negara was informed of the donations, it would suffice, adding it was all right if the public was not in the know.

"Under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989, such transactions are not allowed to be made public.

"In this case, the Central Bank was aware. So there's no wrong," he said.