PUBLIC INTEREST: People need to know if allegations are true, says Muhyiddin
THE deputy prime minister yesterday urged Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to clarify an allegation by ex-Bank Negara Malaysia assistant governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid that the opposition leader owned 20 master accounts worth RM3 billion.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the allegation was not a small matter, in fact, Anwar must promptly explain the matter to the people.
"The figure (RM3 billion) mentioned is big. So, it is the duty of the opposition leader to clarify; Is it true, or not? If not true, explain. The people want to know.
"The non-governmental organisations that are demanding for an explanation also represent a large number of people.
"If untrue, Anwar must take action against the parties making the allegation, including the ex-Bank Negara Malaysia assistant governor," he said after launching a state-level "Love Gardeners" programme at Dataran Sarang Buaya, here, yesterday.
Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, said Anwar's authority and integrity would be affected if he did not clarify the allegation.
He said this in response to a report in a local daily regarding a statutory declaration made in 1999 by Murad, in which the former banker claimed that Anwar controlled about RM3 billion in 20 separate personal accounts while he was finance minister.
However, Murad retracted his declaration later, claiming that the then Anti-Corruption Agency coerced him into signing it.
Last Tuesday, Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali was reported to have raised an issue on the status of investigation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the revelation of Murad, almost 13 years ago.
Newspapers yesterday reported that several NGOs also urged MACC to speed up investigations in the claim as the matter was of public interest.
On another matter, Muhyiddin said Malaysia as a whole, would feel the positive impact of the development taking place in Johor.
The multi-billion ringgit development in Johor also proved that the state and Malaysia was still one of the main foreign investment destinations in the Asean region.
"Investors are still keen to come to Johor and Malaysia, making us one of the main investment destinations in Asean. We believe Johor's fast growth will help the growth of the country as a whole."
Muhyiddin said Johor's pace of development would help the nation reach its six per cent annual growth target and allow it to achieve developed nation status by 2020.
He cited the Iskandar Malaysia project in southern Johor as an example, saying it attracted both domestic and foreign investments. Since its launch at the end of 2006, the project has brought in RM83 billion.
Apart from this, he said Johor also received huge investments from national petroleum company Petronas for the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project in Pengerang.
Rapid was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak last month and was set to receive a total of RM120 billion and create about 40,000 jobs.
Apart from Petronas, several local and foreign oil and gas companies, such as Dialog Group Berhad and some Taiwanese investors, had agreed to invest in Rapid as well, he added.
"With all the development taking place in the country, I'm confident that we can achieve the six per cent annual growth target," he said.
Meanwhile in Putrajaya, Muhyiddin said that Malays, as Muslims, should unite to ensure the survival of the nation's future.
He said if Muslims were divided merely because of different political views or beliefs, then the country would not achieve unity and peace.
"It is important to strengthen the unity of the ummah in order to ensure stability, peace and prosperity in our country," he said in his opening speech at the Upholding Islam, Empowering the Ummah Convention (Kompas).
His speech was read by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.