Malaysian investigators have frozen bank accounts of individuals and entities they claim may have misappropriated money from the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund.
The accounts include those of the United Mala National Organization or UMNO, the largest party in the coalition that lost power last month, according to an e-mail message from the Task Force that focused on re-examining the 1MDB. The task force said that other political parties were also frozen without specifying.
"I will try to prove that UMNO's funds are legitimate and are not involved in illegal fund activity", Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, UMNO President, said in a Facebook post. He took over the party after former Prime Minister Najib Razak resigned in May.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad seeks to recover $ 4.5 billion in lost funds from the state-owned investment company 1Malaysia Development Bhd. The police seized about 1.1 billion ringgit ($ 272 million) worth of cash and items in several raids in places associated with Najib and plans to question the former prime minister and his wife soon.
Najib has consistently denied the wrongdoing and called the new investigation "politically motivated".
The Task Force, headed by former Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail, promises a fair and professional investigation, according to the statement.
UMNO is set to take polls to pick a new party president on Saturday after Najib resigned a few days after losing the parliamentary elections that ended the party's six-decade rule. Ahmad Zahid is among the activists alongside former Minister of Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin and former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
– With the support of Pooi Koon Chong