PUTRAJAYA – Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Monday confirmed that an officer of the ministry is under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission over irregularities.
The MACC informed him of the investigation several weeks ago, he told a press conference.
Khairy said the ministry would give its full cooperation to the MACC to enable a fast and comprehensive investigation.
“The ministry will leave it to the MACC to take the proper action based on the investigation,” he said.
Last Friday, the MACC arrested an officer of the ministry on suspicion of having been behind a syndicate responsible for misappropriation of government funds totalling RM107 million.
The syndicate, believed to have been active sice 2010, had allegedly used the finance divisions of agencies at the ministry to make payments to 14 companies for sports-related programmes.
Khairy said a ministry investigation identified several weaknesses that had resulted in the alleged irregularities, one of which was the purported misuse by the officer of the procedure that did not require the approval or verification from higher authorities such as the ministry secretary-general or the minister.
He said an independent investigation team would be set up to make an immediate review for improvement of the internal mechanism and the governing process related to channelling of funds at the ministry.
He also said that he had discussed this with the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa who would appoint the probe team which would not have officers from the ministry to prevent vested interests in the proposed investigation.
“The primary objective of the team will be to set right any weaknesses that can lead to misappropriation of public funds,” he said.
Asked whether the ministry would review its projects and programmes following the case, Khairy said the case was confined to allocations other than for development projects.
“The development projects and programmes that do not involve allocations used in the case will go ahead but, if the probe team wants to scrutinise all ministry approval procedures, we are prepared to work with the team,” he said.
Asked about an allegation that the misused funds had been channelled to the National Sports Council, Khairy said this was being probed by the MACC.
Khairy praised the swift action by the MACC in the case to prevent further leakages, saying this gave confidence to the people.
“Although this is not good news for my ministry, I see the swift and comprehensive MACC action as positive to prevent irregularities and corruption,” he said. – BERNAMA