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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Anifah says no foreign intervention despite Umno leaders raising false alarm

Umno leaders may have warned of foreign intervention after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) moved to confiscate US$1 billion in assets allegedly stolen from 1MDB but Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said this wasn’t the case, at least for now.

Anifah, in an interview with the Sunday edition of Utusan Malaysia, explained that the DOJ action was due to to the transactions taking place in the US.

“At this stage, there is no foreign intervention in our country. But the DOJ investigation must be conducted fairly, justly and without any other motives.

“The US is investigating the matter because there were transactions that happened in their country,” he was quoted as saying.

However, he said if the DOJ were to investigate transactions that happened in Malaysia, then this would be perceived as foreign intervention.

“If the transaction didn’t happen in the US but in Malaysia and the DOJ hold a press conference to say that Malaysia should do this and that, then I see it as interfering in our country’s affairs,” he said.

He was responding to Umno-owned Utusan’s question about “foreign threats” to Malaysia.

Anifah stressed that Malaysia takes the stance of not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and expected the same.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in a blog posting also criticised attempts to paint the DOJ action as foreign interference, pointing out that money stolen was 1MDB was spent in the US and therefore violated US laws.

Malacca Chief Minister Idris Haron last Sunday accused the US of being out to “kill Malays” like how they “killed Iraqis” when commenting on the DOJ case.

Idris later clarified that he was merely trying to drum up patriotism when he made the comment.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak also warned Umno delegates about the threat of “modern colonisation”, using the example of how the Malacca sultanate was taken over by foreign powers.

The DOJ last month announced that it found US$3.5 billion had been stolen from 1MDB with a substantial sum used to acquire property and artworks in the US as well as investing in the country.

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