PUTRAJAYA, Sept 20 — A group of Umno members led by Datuk Lokman Noor Adam tonight cried foul over the arrest of the party’s former president Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The Umno Supreme Council member said that Najib’s allegedly unlawful arrest was proof that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is being used as a tool for revenge by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Just yesterday Attorney-General Tommy Thomas told a news outlet that he still have not received the investigation papers on the RM2.6 billion donation,” he said in front of the MACC headquarters here.
“So it does not make sense that Najib is being arrested and charged the following day.
“Therefore, it is clear that Tun M has instructed the MACC chief to conduct this arrest. They are being used as his revenge tool,” he added.
Lokman also dubbed the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 — also known as Amla — which Najib is being charged under, as Malaysia’s new Internal Security Act (ISA) that was used against dissidents.
“Yes we can say that Amla is the new ISA because apparently it can be used by Dr M to charge just about anyone without any proof.
“Under Amla, those accused are immediately guilty until proven innocence. In this case, Najib needs to prove that the money came from a ‘halal’ source,” he said.
Slightly after 9pm, some 50 of them showed up at the MACC headquarters in Precinct 7 where Najib is currently being detained.
The group ended their two-hour protest by singing ‘Allah selamatkan Najib Razak’ (‘God save Najib Razak’).
Lokman said the group will also submit a memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on September 26 to call for an intervention by the Conference of Malay Rulers.
“We want to protect the institution of Malay rulers and we want them to intervene and ensure that Amla will not be misused by Mahathir’s regime,” he said.
Najib was arrested by the anti-graft body at 4.13pm today and will be detained overnight here, before leaving straight to Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur at 8am tomorrow.
In a statement earlier, MACC has confirmed that Najib is being probed over a controversial RM2.6 billion donation banked into his account, allegedly from a Saudi Arabian royal in 2014.
The Pekan MP is expected to be charged at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court at 3pm tomorrow.
He faces several charges under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009 after prosecution permission is obtained from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, MACC said.