Malaysia's defeated UMNO party asks police to return money seized from ousted PM Najib Razak

Police had seized cash, jewellery and luxury items estimated to be worth millions of dollars in an anti-graft raid after Najib's election defeat on May 9.

Published: 25th May 2018 12:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th May 2018 12:00 PM   |  A+A-

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (Photo | AP)

By Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR:  Malaysia's defeated United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) has asked police to return to the party millions of dollars seized from properties linked to former prime minister Najib Razak.

A week after Najib's defeat in an election on May 9, police raided his home and other properties as anti-graft agents relaunched an investigation into what happened to billions of dollars missing from an insolvent state fund founded by Najib during his nearly ten years in power.

During the raids, police seized cash, jewellery and luxury items estimated to be worth millions of dollars.

UMNO said in statement late on Thursday that the money was campaign contributions and party funding left over after the election and it was seized while it was in the process of being transferred to the party's new leadership.

"As such, UMNO seeks to recover these funds and requests the police to release these funds and return them to the party after completion of all due process and investigations by the relevant authorities," the party said.

Out of power for the first time since independence six decades ago, UMNO said it needed the money to recover from its defeat.

"UMNO is in the process of rebuilding and the return of our party funds will help in this process," the statement said.

Najib quit as president of UMNO a day after the election, and was replaced by his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The new government is led by 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad, a former prime minister and UMNO leader who joined the opposition to defeat his erstwhile protege after becoming convinced of his corruption.

UMNO has long been known for its 'cash politics', as the party has built its support among ethnic Malays through a system of patronage.

The UMNO statement noted that Mahathir had handed back 1.2 billion ringgit ($301 million) to the party and its 3 million members when he stepped down as party president in 2003.

Malaysian police's head of commercial crime is holding a press conference on Friday related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad, the state fund at the heart of the scandal.

On Thursday, Najib concluded a statement to anti-graft agents related to transactions of $10.6 million into his bank account that investigators had traced to a former unit of 1MDB.


Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp