RM2.6 billion was not for buying votes – Najib

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RM2.6 billion donation Saudi Arabia buy votes Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court for his SRC International Sdn Bhd trial. PIX: AFFAN FAUZI / MalaysiaGazette / 03 FEBRUARY 2020
Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court for his SRC International Sdn Bhd trial. PIX: AFFAN FAUZI / MalaysiaGazette / 03 FEBRUARY 2020

By Shawaliah Hadir

KUALA LUMPUR – Datuk Seri Najib Razak emphasized that the RM2.6 billion donation he received from Saudi Arabia was not used to buy votes during the 13th General Election (GE13).

On the contrary, he said, the RM2.6 billion was used for the party, including the installation of billboards and advertisements.

“The donation was used for the party (UMNO) and not for buying votes, but for activities, events and advertisements.

“Those are the needs of BN, a party involved in the contest for 222 parliamentary seats nationwide,” he said during the cross-examination by his defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh.

Najib also told the court that he did not feel comfortable receiving donations from corporates to be used in election as he did not want to feel indebted towards them.

“As the President of UMNO (then), I wanted my source of income to make me feel free, in other words, I don’t want to be indebted to anyone. I feel more comfortable if I don’t receive donations from the corporates.

“I don’t want to feel that I owe anyone a favour,” he said, adding that receiving political donations is a common practice by the previous leaders.

Meanwhile, when asked about the controversial businessman, the former Prime Minister said that Jho Low had a special relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Besides that, Najib also said that Jho Low had helped him in the process of evacuating and bringing back Malaysian students who were trapped in Egypt during the Arab Spring.

“As you know, the main reason why we had relationship with Jho Low was that he was proven to have special relationship with Saudi Arabia and the other royal families in the Middle East.

“Based on that, he helped, not only as a channel to Saudi Arabia, but he also partly helped in the bilateral ties with the Saudi Arabia.

“For instance, during the Arab Spring, when our students were trapped in Egypt and they wanted to return to Malaysia, I asked him for help. To get an exemption from the Saudi for me to fly into their airspace, so that our aircraft can board in Jeddah without visa,” he said during the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial which entered its 75th day. -MalaysiaGazette

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