Politics

Sabah MP wants federal minister investigated, Shafie deflects allegation

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – Oct 8, 2016: A Sabah Umno member of parliament wants the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to probe a federal minister whom he thinks was involved in the RM3.3 billion water infrastructure corruption case.

Tenom MP, Datuk Raime Unggi said in a statement that it was important for the MACC to do so because it was the “federal ministry and its minister” who approved the project related to the case.

He, however, did not name the minister.

The infrastructure project was shoved into the limelight after two senior civil servants at the Sabah Water Department, who oversaw the projects was arrested for their alleged abuse of power.

Via their alleged abuse of power the duo was reported to have amassed RM114.5 million in cash and assets that were seized by the MACC last Tuesday.

“The abuse of power happened in 2010 and it would be appropriate for the MACC to also investigate the minister and senior officials of the federal ministry involved.

“It is logical that the RM3.3 billion worth of infrastructure projects channeled by the federal government through the federal ministry would require the approval of relevant minister and senior officials,” said Raime in the statement issued today.

Raime was not the only one who deemed that the MACC should expand its investigations as the first to call the commission to do so was Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

Pairin, who also headed the state’s Infrastructure Development Ministry, claimed, yesterday, that the RM3.3 billion was a federal funding that came directly from the Rural and Regional Development Ministry in Putrajaya without going through him.

Although both Raime and Pairin did not name any names it is believed that the minister they were referring to is Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal who was the Rural and Regional Development Minister from 2009 to 2015.

Shafie was later replaced by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob after he left Umno in July due to what he claimed to be “irreconcilable differences in opinions” with the party leadership.

Responding to the statement by Raime and Pairin, Shafie via a statement issued today stated that the duo had disrespected the MACC’s investigation by hastily accusing him.

“I would reserve my comment on this matter as I believe that we must not interfere or be seen to be interfering with the ongoing investigation by making public statements and plea of innocence so as to ensure that the integrity of the investigation by MACC is not compromise with,” Shafie stated.

He finds it was “quite perplexing and amusing” that the state authority was quick to plead innocence and shift the blame to the Rural and Regional Development Ministry while MACC is still investigating the matter.

“Making such statements publicly seem to show that the state authorities have no respect nor confidence towards the process of the investigation by MACC,” he added.

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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.