"I didn't know. We never knew this. We didn't know we had so much money," the Beaufort MP claimed when contacted.
"I was an Umno supreme council member, a member of the Sabah Umno liaison committee and was with Umno from the beginning in 1994 to last July, almost 18 years...
"I only knew when it was announced by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department".
Lajim (above), who was Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Government, had defected from Umno to be Pakatan Rakyat-friendly last July.
The MP also alleged that while state Umno leaders did not know about the donation, there was an assumption that funds were obtained by Chief Minister and Sabah Umno chief Musa Aman.
“We don't know were the money was from, but we always thought it was for Musa,” he said.
Musa a 'one man show'
He added that the state leadership were in the dark as "Musa is a one man show".
"Where did the money come from and was tax paid? RM40 million is not a small amount. If I am a businessman, I'd only give RM40 million if my project is worth RM4 billion," he said.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz (left) told Parliament that the RM40 million was a donation for Sabah Umno, and that no elements of corruption was involved.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, however, refused to disclose the identity of the donor and insisted that the donation was made through a "proper" manner.
Whistleblower website Sarawak Report cited leaked Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigation papers when revealing that businessman Micheal Chia was arrested at the Hong Kong Airport for attempting to smuggle SGD16 million in cash into Malaysia.
However, Mohd Nazri said that the funds were in fact in a bank account in Hong Kong and was wired into Malaysia. He also said that the ICAC had probed the matter and took no further action.
Mohd Nazri, who is de facto law minister, also denied that Chia was arrested in the 2008 incident.
The Malaysian Insider today also reported that former BN MP Wilfred Bumburing claimed that the funds were remitted to a personal bank account of “an Umno leader”.
He also claimed that the Umno leader, whom he did not name, was able to withdraw the money “bit by bit”.