The statement by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that Bukit Aman CID director Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd may have been “naive” about Australian laws concerning remittances to fund his children’s education (FMT, “CID director ‘naive’ about Australian law, says Zahid”, 5.3.2018) is shocking to say the least and most unexpected from the country’s Deputy Prime Minister.
In accepting Wan Ahmad’s explanation of how approximately A$320,000.00 found its way into his bank account in Australia, Zahid was quoted in the said report as saying,
“This issue of remittance surfaced back in 2016. Wan Ahmad has already given me his explanation on the matter, and I am confident of his honesty. However, he might have been naive about laws surrounding the remittance, because although the money was acquired from the sale of a house, it exceeded A$10,000, which is the limit set by the Australian government.”
What is Zahid’s message to the world here? Is he saying that one of this country’s most senior police officers was ignorant of the law and that its ok that he was?
Wan Ahmad is no country bumpkin who might be forgiven for being ignorant of the law. He is the CID director of Bukit Aman and must surely have knowledge of such elementary accounting procedure and practice in Australia. Even a student opening an account for the first time in Australia would have been advised of same.
Furthermore, if such explanation from Wan Ahmad was capable of absolving him from liability, why then are the Australian authorities still investigating the matter?
The Australian authorities have commenced investigations into the matter as it suspected a “flurry of suspicious cash deposits” into Najmuddin’s Commonwealth Bank “Goal Saver” bank account, which had been lying dormant since it was opened in 2011. The unnamed depositor visited branches and automatic teller machines (ATMs) across the country, from Biloela in Queensland to Devonport in northern Tasmania and Lakemba in western Sydney, as well as the commercial centre in Melbourne”, according to the said report.
In light of the above, it is unlikely that the said authorities will cease such investigations merely because Zahid is satisfied with Wan Ahmad’s explanation or that he had been cleared by Bukit Aman in an internal probe.
In other words, there is obviously a need to independently investigate Wan Ahmad despite Zahid’s said view and the said internal probe and the MACC must investigate Wan Ahmad for a failure to do so can be seen as a dereliction of duty on its part.
Zahid must understand that his words carry weight being the Deputy Prime Minister of the country. Statements such as these will surely make us a laughing stock in the eyes of the world which should not be repeated.
Dated this 5th March, 2018.
Member of Parliament
Democratic Action Party