DAP has called for a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to investigate allegedly foreign-laundered funds received by Umno, in particular the RM40 million "political donation" for Sabah Umno.

"As Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is an interested party as Umno president, he should establish a RCI into the RM40 million Hong Kong-laundered Umno funds and other foreign Umno and BN laundered monies to clear Umno, BN and Malaysia’s name," said DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang in a statement today.

NONENajib (right) yesterday refused to disclose the source of the funding, stating that all parties had a right to political donations as long as it went through the right channels.

"What Najib had completely ignored is that the RM40 million is not 'above-board money' but dirty money,” alleged Lim.

“It is ...funds that the Sabah businessman Michael Chia had tried to smuggle into the country in his luggage in cash in the form of $S16 million currency but got arrested... for money trafficking and laundering," he said.

It had been reported that on Aug 14, 2008, Chia was caught red-handed in Hong Kong with Singapore currency worth the RM40 million while planning to fly back to Kuala Lumpur.

The Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) charged him with money laundering and trafficking.

‘MACC impartiality compromised’

The RM40 million was initially alleged to have been for Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman, whom whistleblower website Sarawak Report had alleged was close to Chia, a middleman in the timber trade.

NONEHowever, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri in a written parliamentary reply on Thursday, cited Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) saying that there was no case against Musa as the money was meant for Sabah Umno.

Lim meanwhile said the RCI was all the more necessary as the MACC’s independence in the matter is compromised since it comes under the Prime Minister's Department (PMD), which Najib as Umno president helms.

"Nobody in Malaysia is under the illusion that the MACC and attorney-general have such powers.

“That is to conduct full investigations into the top UMNO leadership including the Umno president, involving corruption and money laundering, as the prime minister is none other than the Umno president himself.

"In the circumstances, any independent, thorough and professional investigation… cannot be undertaken under the auspices of the MACC or attorney-general, but must be by a completely separate and independent commission," he said.

Lim said a RCI would be essential to prove the premier's anti-corruption credentials.