KUALA LUMPUR - The deputy prime minister yesterday urged Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to clarify an allegation by ex-Bank Negara Malaysia assistant governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid that the opposition leader owned 20 master accounts worth RM3 billion (S$1.2 billion).
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the allegation was not a small matter, in fact, Anwar must promptly explain the matter to the people.
"The figure (RM3 billion) mentioned is big. So, it is the duty of the opposition leader to clarify; Is it true, or not? If not true, explain. The people want to know.
"The non-governmental organisations that are demanding for an explanation also represent a large number of people.
"If untrue, Anwar must take action against the parties making the allegation, including the ex-Bank Negara Malaysia assistant governor," he said after launching a state-level "Love Gardeners" programme at Dataran Sarang Buaya, here, yesterday.
Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, said Anwar's authority and integrity would be affected if he did not clarify the allegation.
He said this in response to a report in a local daily regarding a statutory declaration made in 1999 by Murad, in which the former banker claimed that Anwar controlled about RM3 billion in 20 separate personal accounts while he was finance minister.
However, Murad retracted his declaration later, claiming that the then Anti-Corruption Agency coerced him into signing it.
Last Tuesday, Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali was reported to have raised an issue on the status of investigation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the revelation of Murad, almost 13 years ago.
Newspapers yesterday reported that several NGOs also urged MACC to speed up investigations in the claim as the matter was of public interest.