SEMPORNA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) probe into the mishandling of federal government funds will be extended to other states in its move to expose corrupt practices in projects meant for rural development.
Its chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad said for the time being the commission would focus on their investigation in Sabah.
“We are currently looking at over 70 projects (in the state) involving RM1.5 billion...but later on we will expand our probe and look into other projects under the Rural and Regional Development Ministry (KKLW) in other states,” he said when met at Kampung Sungai Intan here today.
He said so far the commission had quizzed 45 people to assist investigation into misappropriation of federal funds for Sabah, with more to be hauled in soon to give their statements.
Asked whether Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and his younger brother Datuk Mohd Yusof Apdal were among those to be called in next, Dzulkifli did not confirm or deny.
“We will call all individuals who we suspect to have been involved in this issue (mishandling of federal government funds). We will also make an arrest if neccesary. When the time come, we will update the press,” Dzulkifli said.
He also rubbished claims by Parti Warisan Sabah vice-president Junz Wong, who described MACC probe on their leaders as “political intimidation", and said the commission was not after political parties.
“It involves mishandling of government funds. It is not only Warisan members who are arrested but also those in Umno. This is up to their perception but this is not our basis when making an arrest.
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“We arrest based on statement and evidence. We are not looking at political angle. This is beyond political party,” he said.
Since Oct 5, MACC has detained six indivduals in Sabah and a fomer deputy undersecretary (infrastructure) of KKLW in Putrajaya.
Those arrested in Sabah were Shafie’s younger brother Hamid Apdal, Parti Warisan Sabah Wira chief Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman, Parti Warisan Sabah vice-president Datuk Peter Anthony, Tenom Umno Youth Chief Jamawi Jaafar, Tawau Umno Youth Chief Ariffin Kassim, and a businessman cum contractor Yu Sin Kong.
They were among the 45 witnesses quizzed by MACC so far. A source close to the investigation said most of the witnesses were company owners in Sabah.
Earlier, Dzulkfli inspected the Sungai Intan Water Treatment Plant here, which is one of the rural development projects being scrutinised by MACC in its ongoing probe.
He was briefed by Kampung Sungai Intan steering commitee Yusrie Yusup.
The RM45 million project completed in 2015 and it was supposed to supply clean water supply to the people of Kampung Sungai Intan and other villages in the surrounding area.
“However, the treated water supply has not reached the people until today. Some will get supply only twice a week and other than that they will have to rely on groundwater from wells which they dig.
“The MACC represents the people and we have a role to ensure all government officials carry out their duty responsibly. Funds from the govermnent should reach the people.
“This is enough. It is time for government officials to live up to their responsibilties and serve in helping to meet the people’s need,” he said.
On June 21, 2015, Shafie who was then the Rural and Regional Development Minister inspected the water treatment plant, which was reportedly 97.27 per cent completed at that time.
It was reported the water treatment plant has a water production capacity of six million litres a day. The construction of the plant commenced in 2013.
The Borneo Post on June 22, 2015, reported Shafie had wanted the Intan rver to be deepened to cater for the raw water supply needed for the plant. Adding the booster pump house of the plant was still under construction.
the Sabah Water Department would apply for an allocation under the 11th Malaysan Plan and had instructed the contractor to deepen the river.
Early this week, a MACC source said the Sunga Intan Water Treatment Plant did not benefit the people and the river was shallow.