Future haj pilgrims sponsored by 1MDB can no longer feign ignorance over the 'illicit nature' of the funds used to send them to Makkah, said Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“If you go and perform the haj with stolen money, it is like knowing that the plate is full of haram food but you still eat it.
“If you don’t know, that’s okay, but now you know the (1MDB haj) money is stolen,” Mahathir said at a press conference in Shah Alam today.
The former premier had late last month said haj pilgrimages sponsored by 1MDB would not be ‘mabrur’ (good and accepted by God) as the source funds were “stolen” by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
He has since come under fire for making such remarks, with critics, including muftis, saying that what matters during the haj is being sincere and performing it properly.
However, the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairperson refused to apologise for his remarks.
“Why should I apologise? All those people who said I’m wrong were paid to do so.
“They have to ‘ampu’ (suck up), they have to ‘bodek’. They don’t speak freely.
“When you are the government mufti you have to praise the government,” he said.
The government has been sponsoring pilgrimages for imams and village leaders through the 1MDB Foundation since 2011.
The state investment firm is the subject of multiple international probes, including a US Department of Justice (DOJ) civil forfeiture suit which claimed that more than US$3.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB.
The DOJ also said that an unnamed Malaysian Official 1 alleged received US$731 million allegedly stolen from 1MDB.
Najib has denied misappropriating public funds, dismissing such allegations as part of a plot to topple him.- Mkini