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MACC

27

GEORGETOWN – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is to seek the assistance of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng soon in an investigation on his purchase of a bungalow here for RM2.8 million.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (prevention) Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said the investigation was underway and the agency’s operations division would set a date and venue to record Lim’s statement.

He said Lim’s statement would be taken to complete the MACC investigation on the purchase of the bungalow in Jalan Pinhorn here last year.

“The Operations Division has its own schedule to record Lim’s statement and it will issue a statement soon,” he said here Monday.

He spoke to reporters after witnessing the signing of the Corporate Integrity Pledge by PBA Holdings Bhd headed by its chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa here.

Earlier, at the same ceremony, Lim said he had yet to be contacted by MACC on the matter.

“The meeting today was only about the integrity pledge and we did not discuss other matters,” he said.

Lim is alleged to have bought the bungalow at below market price. It is also alleged that the purchase of the bungalow was linked to the sale of a piece of land in Taman Manggis.

Lim has dismissed the allegations. – BERNAMA

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PUTRAJAYA – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today denied that the arrest of one of its officers recently had to do with an investigation involving Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

MACC director (Investigation) Datuk Azam Baki said the officer, in his 30s, was arrested on suspicion of soliciting bribe of RM20,000 as protection money from a police officer who was being investigated by the commission.

“Therefore, I wish to clarify that the allegation he (officer) was arrested for attempting to dispose off evidence in the investigation involving Lim is not true.

“The officer, who works at the Putrajaya MACC was arrested by MACC in Bangi, Selangor,” he told Bernama here today.

He was commenting an allegation posted on a web blog which said MACC was attempting to dispose of evidence in the investigation on the purchase of a bungalow at below the market price by Lim by arresting the officer, who is from Penang, together with RM50,000, in Putrajaya.

It also claimed that it was informed by a source in MACC that the officer’s arrest also had to do with an investigation on the alleged abuse of government fund, worth more than RNM100 million, at the Youth and Sports Ministry.

Azam said the officer was arrested at about noon last April 7 in Bangi and MACC found RM20,000 on him.

The investigation paper is ready and the officer would be charged in court tomorrow, he added. – BERNAMA

54

PUTRAJAYA – An Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry official who was remanded to facilitate investigations into a case involving misappropriation of Youth and Sports Ministry funds has been released.

The funds involved are believed to be more than RM100 million.

The man aged 43 was released on Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) bail of RM10,000 with one surety set by magistrate Nik Isfahanie Tasnim Wan Ab. Rahman.

He was previously attached with the Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) before transferring to the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry.

On March 17, the MACC detained six individuals incuding a KBS senior officer and a woman allegedly linked to a syndicate that allegedly cheated the government of RM107 million.

Three more individuals were detained the following day to assist in investigations.

The syndicate believed to have been active since 2010, allegedly misled finance divisions of KBS agencies to channel payment to 14 companies purportedly for organising sports-related programmes.

On March 24, two contractors of event management companies and a woman believed to be a proxy for a company were released on MACC bail of RM10,000 with one surety each.

Last Friday, another contractor of an event management company aged 36 was released on a similar bail amount. – BERNAMA

45

PENDANG – The Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission (MACC) targets to receive 70 per cent support from the public by year end.

MACC Professionalism and Management deputy chief Commissioner Datuk Sri Mohd Jamidan Abdullah said society’s perception of MACC go up yearly and this could be clearly be seen via MACC annual study.

“The study showed that 68 per cent of the people supported MACC last year.

“MACC always carries out its duty transparently and fairly. We will not allow any quarter to hinder our investigation as society wants the truth,” he told reporters after a MACC Officer Basic Course passing out parade here, Saturday.

The programme was opened by MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner (Operations) Datuk Sri Mohd Shukri Abdull.

Mohd Jamidan said society could channel information on incidents of corruption to enable MACC to conduct investigation transparently and fairly.

“If we have enough information, we will immediately investigate because it is our work, so the issue that we don’t carry out our duty won’t arise. To date, we have 2,000 trained pesonnel to conduct investigations,” he said.

Earlier, 41 Grade P41 and 47 Superindendent Cadet Officers and Grade P29 Assistant Superintendent Cadet Officers completed their Series 18 and 19 of the MACC Officer Basic Course, which was compulsory for a new appointment.

“We hope all those who have completed the course today will go through the challenges as MACC officers well, other than giving their best service to win over society,” he said. – BERNAMA

42

PUTRAJAYA: An agriculture and agro-based industry ministry officer and a company director are the latest suspects to be detained over the misappropriation of funds of more than RM100mil.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) director (investigations) Datuk Azam Baki said the suspects, aged 41 and 31, were nabbed at the MACC headquarters after being summoned to have their statements recorded on Wednesday.

He told Bernama that prior to this, the 41-year-old officer had worked at the youth and sports ministry before he was transferred to the agriculture and agro-based ministry, a month ago.

He said the suspects were remanded for seven days to shed light on the case.

In a related development, Azam said the remand of the main suspected mastermind and seven other people would be extended after their detention period ended Thursday.

Meanwhile, he said a woman, one of the suspects in the case, would be released on bail.

On Friday, the MACC detained nine people, including a youth and sports ministry division secretary who allegedly received about RM20mil in bribes.

The 56-year-old senior officer, together with eight other individuals, including a woman, were detained by MACC on suspicion of masterminding a syndicate to misappropriate government funds worth RM107 million.

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PETALING JAYA: The statement of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng will be taken as soon as all relevant documents and witness statements have been obtained, said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

In a statement on Wednesday, MACC investigations division director Datuk Azam Baki said that the MACC has already received eight complaints regarding Lim’s purchase of a two-storey bungalow at Pinhorn Road, Penang.

“To allow for the investigation to be carried out comprehensively, the MACC has called a number of witnesses and has acquired relevant documents,” said Azam.

Azam added that Lim’s statement will be taken once statements from witnesses are obtained

“It is also dependent on the situation after the documents obtained have been reviewed,” said Azam.

Regarding Lim’s commitment to give his full cooperation to MACC and his urging to expedite the probe, Azam said that Lim was free to come to the MACC office at any time to help with the investigation.

He also reaffirmed that the MACC would conduct the investigation independently and transparently as per previous cases.

Lim has been in the spotlight since Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya made the claim last week that Lim had purchased the bungalow last year for RM2.8mil when, according to him, the market value of the property was between RM6mil and RM6.5mil.

He has denied any wrongdoing and said the allegations by Shabudin linking the purchase of the house to the RM11mil sale of the 0.45ha plot in Taman Manggis in 2012 were “false and baseless”

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GEORGE TOWN: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng does not see the need to go on leave while the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) conducts an investigation over his controversial RM2.8 million bungalow purchase.

“I do not see why I should go on leave over blatant, false allegations (hurled) against me.

“I leave it to the MACC to conduct an investigation and will press them to complete it speedily so that my name and that of the state government can be cleared.

“I have also stated my full co-operation to the MACC and hope there can be a fair, independent and professional investigation,” he said in a statement posted on his Facebook Wednesday.

According to media reports, Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru is among some quarters who suggested Lim take leave, pending an MACC investigation into the bungalow purchase.

On Monday, Penang PAS Youth also urged Lim to go on leave to ensure transparency and a swift investigation process.

Meanwhile, the chief minister said he had always conducted a clean administration of Penang, according to the Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) principles.

He said the state government was justifiably proud of running a clean government free from corruption.

— BERNAMA

33

PUTRAJAYA – The remand period for the mastermind of the syndicate responsible for misappropriation of government fund of over RM100 million at the Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS), which will end on Thursday, will probably be extended to facilitate further investigations.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Investigation Division director Datuk Azam Baki said intensive investigations were being done into the case and it would also see several other members of the syndicate to be held longer.

“The MACC is in the midst of completing the investigation and if we are not satisfied with the information given (by the suspects), we will ask the court to extend the remand period,” he told Bernama.

He said, in line with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s call for immediate investigation regarding the case, the MACC had also called a number of witnesses from the KBS, National Sports Council and the public to record their statements.

However, no new arrest or seizure was made, he said.

Azam said statements from the witnesses were needed to determine the system and procedures used by the divisions or agencies involved, which had led to the leakage and misappropriation of fund, while the investigation into corruption would look into supply and financial aspects.

On reports questioning why only KBS officers were detained when there was an allegation that the case also involved the National Sports Council (NSC) officials, he said it was too early to determine that the NSC was involved.

“This is because the investigation had so far revealed that the NSC was involved only in making payments to 14 companies as instructed by the KBS officers. “Our investigations will be done from all angles…let us finish this first, don’t jump into conclusion and simply say that the NSC is involved in this scandal,” he said.

On the amount of fund and types of sporting events alleged to be the subjects of the misappropriation, Azam said the amount was ‘too many’ and the events were neither exist nor organised. – BERNAMA

63

KOTA KINABALU – Two NGOs today lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission over a bungalow in George Town bought by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng allegedly at below market price.

They are Pakatan Ngo Pro BN and Gerakan Akar Umbi Umno Malaysia (GAUM).

Pakatan Ngo Pro BN president Zulkarnain Mahdar made the report at the Sabah MACC headquarters here.

Zulkarnain said in a statement later that he had made the report after the matter was revealed by Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Shabudin claimed that Lim had bought the bungalow for RM2.8 million when it was valued at more than RM3 million.

Zulkarnain said Lim should focus more on resolving the people’s problems, and alleged that since the DAP assumed power in Penang it had not built affordable homes and had torn down many bumiputera villages. – BERNAMA

49

KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) hopes to increase the number of integrity officers in government-linked companies (GLCs) and agencies.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Razali Ibrahim (pic) said he was all for having more officers at GLCs but there were limitations.

“For now, we only place officers in about 30 GLCs because we have to stick to our budget and also because of manpower.

“We have a total of 43 officers in the GLCs to monitor and promote integrity in the workforce and prevent corrupt practices,” he said to a question from Datuk Noraini Ahmad (BN – Parit Sulong) in the Dewan Rakyat.

Razali, the minister in charge of the MACC, said there were nearly 1,000 GLCs in Malaysia and not nearly enough officers.

“However, in two years since we had an integrity unit, the impact is quite visible based on our inspections.

“More civil servants are taking the initiative to report corruption and compliance with circulars has increased in 2015 compared to the year before,” he said. – The Star Online