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PM: No further probe on oil-for-food scam

Thank you Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said there is no reason to set up a royal commission to investigate the illicit oil-for-food scandal, which he was implicated in by a United Nations inquiry but cleared later.

abdullah ahmad badawi pak lah 110907“The statement that the companies (implicated in the scandal) are closely linked to me is not true at all,” he said in a written parliamentary reply to Wee Choo Keong (PKR-Wangsa Maju) today.

This is believed to be his first rebuttal since the allegation surfaced.

According to Abdullah, the UN inquiry report has among others stated clearly that it has found no evidence to show the premier has benefitted from the deal.

“The only connection between (me) and the Iraqi government then was a letter to recommend a Malaysian delegation to then Iraqi vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan,” he stated in the three-page reply.

Single-largest bribe-giver

Abdullah was implicated in a 2004 UN inquiry where one ‘Abdullah Badawi’ was found to have gained illegal financial benefit from deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in the illicit oil-for-food scandal.

He was also implicated over his links with a Malaysian trading company called Mastek, controlled by Abdullah’s in-laws, which was alleged to be the biggest bribe-giver in the scandal.

However, in a subsequent UN inquiry in 2005, Abdullah was cleared from any involvement but his two in-laws, Noor Asiah Mahmood and Faek Ahmad Shareef continued to be implicated.

Faek, an Iraqi immigrant, was married to Noor Asiah, a sister of Abdullah’s late wife Endon Mahmood but the couple has since divorced.

According to the UN report, the duo via Mastek had allegedly paid a whopping US$10 million (RM38 million) to Saddam’s regime for the single largest oil allocation under the UN-administered programme.

The report also stated that Faek’s oil allocations were “tied to political consideration as Iraqi officials perceived him as someone who could assist in countering the effects on sanctions by improving Iraq’s ties with Malaysia”.

The Parliament was told previously that the government has no information on any Malaysian companies which had breached the conditions stipulated by the UN under the programme and that it was up to the UN to take any action.

PM: No further probe on oil-for-food scam

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