SEMPORNA, Oct 13 – Graft investigators are combing though paperwork involving companies and accounts linked to an Umno assemblyman in Sabah’s east coast. The man himself is expected to be hauled up in the next few days.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) sources said they were uncovering enough reason to call the assemblyman in for questioning and did not rule out the possibility that he might be arrested soon.
“We are still looking closely at his accounts and companies,” the sources said.
It is learnt that the assemblyman is related to former Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who left Umno in 2016 to form Parti Warisan Sabah which he now leads.
Asked about the possibility that the assemblyman would be arrested and if Shafie would be called in, MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad said that anyone who could help in investigations could be called in.
It is learned that at least two or three assemblymen from the east coast of Sabah are among those likely to be called in over the probe into the alleged siphoning of about RM1.5bil from RM7.5bil worth of projects meant for the rural poor between 2009 and 2015.
Seven people, including Shafie’s younger brother Hamid, nephew Azis Jamman (Warisan Youth chief) and two Sabah Umno Youth leaders have been arrested in connection with the investigations.
Shafie is widely expected to be hauled in soon as the projects in question were during his tenure as minister.
Dzulkifli said the ongoing graft probe into the alleged corruption in the implementation of projects for the rural poor was not a political witch-hunt.
Dismissing claims by Parti Warisan Sabah that the investigation was politically motivated, he said the investigations were about possible corruption and abuse of power and not targeted at any particular party or person.
“We are not investigating a political party. We are investigating misuse or abuse of government funds meant to benefit the people.
“Our arrests do not target any specific people. We have arrested people from Warisan and also from Umno,” he told reporters after visiting a water treatment plant project at Kg Sungai Intan here. The project is among those under investigation.
Dzulkifli said they were looking at over 70 rural development projects in Sabah. “We are focusing on Sabah. Once we have finished here, we will look at other states,” he said.
He said that, so far, more than 45 people have been called in to have their statements recorded.