MACC probes DEIG over tithe payment

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – Sept 11, 2015: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is probing the Darul Ihsan Investment Group (DEIG) over the recent RM2.5 million payment of tithe it made to Sultan of  Selangor.

MACC director Datuk Simi Abdul Ghani in statement today said the commission had started investigating DEIG on the issue since July when the Selangor government’s assets and investment management company made the payment.

The matter had became a topic of contention when the secretary to Selangor Barisan Nasional assemblymen Budiman Mohd Zuhdi yesterday claimed that DEIG had contradicted the claim that it has not started its operations by announcing the tithe payment.

Budiman, as reported by Utusan Malaysia, said that “if DEIG had money to make tithe payment, then why did Selangor Menteri Besar (MB) Mohamad Azmi Ali has told us numerous times that the company has not yet starting to operate.”

“If DEIG has not started doing any transactions then how can the company pay tithe to the Sultan of Selangor?” asked Budiman.

DEIG, which is wholly owned by the Menteri Besar Selangor Incorporated (MBI) was shoved into the spotlight in August after a newsportal reported that about RM30 billion worth of state assets, previously handled by MBI, had been parked under DEIG.

On matters regarding the “dubious” establishment of DEIG, Simi denied MACC’s inaction to investigate the matter.

“MACC have called several witnesses and procured several documents from DEIG and we have found out that there was nothing illegal about its establishment under the MACC Act 2009.

“We have already completed our investigations pertaining DEIG’s establishment and we are not planning to probe further.

Simi nonetheless assured the public that MACC will act on any information that warrants DEIG to be probed.

It was reported that DEIG was registered on June 5 and held by two individuals, each holding a RM1 share.

The two shareholders of DEIG are Raja Shahreen Raja Othman who is also MBI Selangor group chief executive offer and MBI Selangor chief operating officer Soffan Affendi.

Former Selangor MB Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim had criticised Azmin for setting up DEIG.

Khalid claimed that it would be hard for Selangor state assemblymen to keep eye on DEIG’s operations due to its “almost autonomous” nature.

Khalid, who is the Port Klang assemblyman, said the new entity would increase risks by failing to provide proper financial information.

He said what was more worrisome is that it is free to carry out its own audits.

According to Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), the nature of DEIG’s business is investment holding which also includes “to purchase for investment or resale, and to traffic in land and house and other property of any tenure, etc.”

DEIG is even allowed to enter into partnership or into any arrangement with any person or company.

The Rakyat Post reported that such mandate allows the two individuals to deal with Selangor assets without any oversight of the state government, “assuming all of MBI Selangor’s assets have actually been transferred to DEIG”.

Critics of DEIG had drawn similarities between the company and the controversial 1Malaysia Development Berhad, labelling it as PKR’s 1MDB.



About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.