By Syauqi Jamil
KUALA LUMPUR: Goods amounting to over RM1 billion seized during raids in properties linked to former premier Najib Razak were merely gifts he received throughout his 20 years as a credible politician.
Umno veteran Tajuddin Abdul Rahman backed his former boss when he said that it is expected for Najib, who has been a politician for over 40 years to be receiving nice, expensive gifts everytime he attended events.
He said its no surprise that so many of these gifts collected over the years were found at the properties, adding that Najib would’ve stashed it in a secret location should they are obtained in an ill mannered fashion.
“He has already said that they were presents and gifts. From the time he became the (Pahang) Menteri Besar, to the Deputy Prime Minister, to the Prime Minister, how long? 20 years! He has 40 years (experience) in politic.
“I’m sure every wedding he goes, both him and wife receive gifts. They must be nice gifts, not cheap night market products. Over a period of time, they’re accumulated and piled up at home,” he said.
Speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby, Tajuddin was responding to remarks made by former Tourism Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz who claimed that he was shocked by recent revelations involving Najib.
Najib was recently slapped with multiple charges of criminal breach of trust and power abuse, for his alleged misappropriation of state-owned SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The authorities had also, in June, raided several properties linked to Najib, and seized cash and items, including luxury handbags and watches, worth over RM1 billion.
Tajuddin also took a swing at Umno members who are criticising Najib now, especially after Barisan Nasional (BN) had lost the government for the first time in 62 years, to Pakatan Harapan (PH) in GE14.
He defended Najib, saying that latter isn’t a liability until all the charges against him are proven through the court of law, which makes it unfair for him to be abandoned just because of perceptions.
“They felt that Najib has become a liability, burden, nuisance, guilty and doesn’t deserve to be in the party.”
“These are perceptions. Allegations that have yet to be proven. If its proven, then I myself will tell him to rest and keep quiet,” said Tajuddin.