PASIR GUDANG, Aug 29 — Anina Saaduddin earned rare praise from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today for her “courage” in initiating a lawsuit and disciplinary complaint against party president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over the RM2.6 billion donation to Umno.
But any warmth the Langkawi Wanita Umno division leader possibly felt at the elder politician’s commendation was quickly washes away by his next words.
“As I said just now, there will not be any action taken on this report because Najib doesn’t allow the law to run (its course),” the 90-year-old former Umno president and retired prime minister told Anina during a public talk here this afternoon.
Dr Mahathir was in town to deliver a talk titled “Malaysia Hari Ini: Ke Mana Kita?” (Malaysia Today: Where are we headed) that drew a near packed hall in the 7,000-seater indoor stadium jointly organised by Yayasan Pengurusan Ilmu and Kelab Chedet Malaysia.
Anina had filed a lawsuit against Najib at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, seeking to claim a US$650 million portion of the US$681 million (roughly RM2.6 billion) said to have been donated to Umno by a friendly Middle Eastern nation to help the Malay ruling party in its 2013 election campaign.
The young woman was present in the audience today and said she feared for her safety and future; and had asked her fellow Kedahan, Dr Mahathir, if she would be expelled from Umno for initiating the lawsuit and writing in to the party disciplinary board demanding action against its president. Anina also questioned her safety following her actions.
In response, Dr Mahathir told Anina that there is no gain that doesn’t come with risks, adding that she has to be ready to accept the consequences of her actions.
“That’s why I congratulate her courage,” he said.
He then turned to the audience in the stadium and asked them to be stand fast and be courageous, questioning rhetorically who Umno could sack if thousands of its members banded together and made similar complaints.
Anina gained prominence following widespread circulation of a 2.52-minute video clip earlier this month in which she harshly criticised the Umno president as “urinating” on Umno’s three million members in a public storm over RM2.6 billion deposits into his personal account, which the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has said was a donation from a Middle Eastern donor.
According to her court documents filed yesterday, Anina is claiming that Najib had violated his duties as a trustee, alleging that the US$650 million was transferred out of an AmPrivate Banking account in Malaysia on August 30, 2013 into a Singapore account that “did not belong to Umno.”
Anina also sought an injunction order to prohibit Umno from “removing, suspending and/or taking any disciplinary action” against her pending the disposal of the lawsuit.
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