RM40m Donation

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins
International Money Pile in Cash and Coins (Photo credit: epSos.de)

According to an article in TheStar, “the RM40mil given to Sabah Umno was a political donation, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak … adding that the political donation was done in a proper and acceptable manner.”

By all means, clear the CM of corruption charges, but please continue to pursue the money – it’s source and destination.

What I don’t get is how a political donation is being treated as a white-washing of the whole affair. It isn’t. Political donations are a form of corruption, particularly large sums, which is why some countries have a legal limit on political donations.

Instead of stopping investigations of the political donation, the relevant authorities should continue to pursue the money, it’s source and where it goes. If the source of money is illegitimate, or if it has broken some international money laundering laws, then, there is definitely some problem somewhere.

Just because the money isn’t for personal use does not mean that it is clean.

If the source of the money is timber license kick-backs as alleged elsewhere, then it doesn’t matter if that money is being funnelled to the political party to build up its war-chest for the coming GE or whether its for the personal use of any specific person – it is still corruption. The corruption happens when the money is kicked-back, regardless of where the money goes.

What must also be investigated is where that money goes. If the money from the political party funds are being channelled to say, companies owned by the CM and/or his family to ostensibly run campaigns, that’s just a round-a-bout way of doing the corruption – a very thinly veiled way to do it, actually.

Some people were probably getting a little too complacent and bold, drunk with all that power and feeling invincible – until their hands got caught in the proverbial cookie jar. Then, they probably had to give up the cookie to someone else, or risk having their hands chopped off.

Anyone who knows how to move that much cash across borders should know better. Large bribes need to be routed through multiple layers and intermediaries, so that it becomes difficult to trace. Unless of course, the once caught were merely intermediaries.

What irks me is how our government, and the PM, is actually treating this case as closed. The message that they are sending out is how one should go about bribing a politician in Malaysia – via their political party donations instead of directly – a very thinly veiled bribe at that.

At the very least, have the decency to hide the damn money.


Published by

Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered/Professional Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

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