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New Umno chief confirms he will be questioned by MACC over alleged misuse of funds

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Mr Zahid has been asked to give an explanation regarding allegations of abuse of funds of a foundation which is owned by his family.

Kuala Lumpur

NEWLY elected United Malays National Organisation (Umno) president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi confirmed that he will be meeting the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigators on Monday the Star online newspaper reported.

"I have been asked to give an explanation over several issues as what had been reported by the mainstream and social media," he told reporters on Sunday.

He said that the explanation would include allegations over abuse of funds of a foundation which is owned by his family. The new Umno president is believed to have abused some RM900,000 (S$303,545) of the foundation's funds to settle his and his wife's credit card bills between 2014 and 2015, the New Straits Times reported.

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He reiterated that the foundation was set up by his family for Islamic charitable purposes with donations that he personally made and from several friends.

When asked, Mr Zahid did not say if his meeting with the MACC will touch on the frozen accounts of political parties linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) investigations.

"I do not know what questions I will be asked, but I will fully cooperate with the MACC, and will be frank with my explanation," he said.

He did not specify the exact time when he would be present to face questioning at the MACC office in Putrajaya on Monday.

Besides the allegations of abuse of the foundation's fund, it was learned that MACC officers are expected to take statements on Mr Zahid's purported meeting with a member of Saudi Arabia's royal family who is said to have donated money to former prime minister Najib Razak.

On Aug 22, 2015, Mr Zahid, who was speaking at the opening of Sri Gading Umno division, said that he had met the wealthy Arab family who donated US$700 million that was channelled into Mr Najib's personal account.

He said that the family, which he did not name, had donated the money because of Malaysia's commitment in fighting terrorism and being a moderate Muslim country with a plural society.

MACC director of investigations Simi Abdul Ghani said that the commission would likely issue a statement on the matter on Monday.

"For now, we cannot reveal anything because investigations into the case are ongoing. MACC may issue a statement as early as Monday on the matter," he said.