March 10, 2023
PUTRAJAYA – Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic) says that he will answer all the charges against him by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in court.
Speaking after being questioned by the MACC on Thursday (March 9), Muhyiddin said that the Commission should know from all the evidence taken that there was no abuse of power or bribery.
Muhyiddin said that he went willingly to the MACC headquarters without coercion for additional statements to be recorded.
He said that he had been questioned about the Jana Wibawa programme and the tax cancellation appeal by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary.
“I did not have the authority to approve any government project. The Finance Ministry has the jurisdiction to approve such contracts,” he said.
Muhyiddin said that during his administration, he would refer such applications to the Finance Ministry for its consideration in accordance with regulations.
“I have never given instructions to or influenced the decision made by the Finance Ministry. I have also never met contractors who have received a project and never received money from them,” he added.
Muhyiddin also said he explained this to the MACC officer who questioned him and added that he had never given instructions or influenced the Finance Ministry to approve any appeal.
Jana Ekonomi Pemerkasaan Kontraktor Bumiputra Berwibawa, or Economic Recovery of Authorised Bumiputra Contractors (Jana Wibawa), was set up in November 2020 to empower bumiputra contractors struggling during the pandemic.
“Jana Wibawa was a project during the Covid-19 pandemic to redevelop the country’s economy especially to save bumiputera contractors who would have gone bankrupt.
“Sadly, this was politicised as if it is a scheme to steal the country’s money,” said Muhyiddin.
On the tax cancellation appeal, Muhyiddin said it was filed by Yayasan Al-Bukhary and added that its patron was Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar.
“He is my best friend; I have known him for over 30 years. He is a Malay tycoon and philanthropist, who is close to me,” said Muhyiddin.
He added that Yayasan Al-Bukhary carried out charity and welfare work, especially in developing Islam and helping Muslims.
“For all that, the foundation was granted tax cancellation approval by the previous Barisan Nasional government.
“After the 14th General Election, the Pakatan Harapan government was formed and then Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng cancelled the approval,” he said.
Muhyiddin then said that Syed Mokhtar made an appeal for the tax cancellation when he was appointed as the prime minister.
“In my notes I said please consider this appeal. If it is in order, I am not in objection.
“The appeal was considered by the Finance Ministry and the Inland Revenue Board and subsequently approved,” said Muhyiddin.
The Pagoh MP said if there was a contribution from Syed Mokhtar, it was a political contribution that was transferred directly into Bersatu’s bank accounts and added that nothing from the donation was given to him for his personal use.
Muhyiddin said he knew that Syed Mokhtar made donations to political parties for decades.
“This includes ruling political parties. If he also wants to contribute to Bersatu as a party fighting for good policies for the Malays and the country, in where is the mistake,” he said.