MACC SETS RANKINGS GOAL
THE anti-graft agency is pulling out all the stops to ensure Malaysia makes significant strides in the global Corruption Perceptions Index by 2020. It has set a target of at least one prosecution a week in ‘a war that transcends politics, race and religio
GEORGE TOWN: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is hot on the trail of several Penang Zakat officials as well as its contractors and suppliers linked to a graft conspiracy.
This followed the arrests of 11 men, including Penang Zakat’s 50-year-old chief executive officer, a Datuk, in a raid called Op Miskin yesterday morning.
State MACC director Datuk Abdul Aziz Aban said: “We believe there is a network of officials, contractors and suppliers conspiring to share profits from Penang Zakat’s community development programmes.
“We suspect the officials are giving the programmes to certain contractors or suppliers who, in turn, share the profits with the officials. We have arrested 11 men and will be making more arrests,” he said at the state MACC headquarters here yesterday.
He said investigations began in December last year after MACC received public complaints.
He said MACC believed that the chief executive officer had also received several valuable items, cash and cheques from several Penang Zakat contractors and suppliers as an incentive to give them projects or work related to the programmes.
“The chief executive officer, who has held the position since 1995, is also believed to have given education aid and scholarships to his child without going through the Penang Islamic Affairs Department,” he said, adding that investigations were from 2014 to last year.
He said the others arrested were three Penang Zakat officials, aged between 35 and 40, and seven contractors, aged between 41 and 52.
“We also seized a few valuable items and froze the bank accounts of all 11 men.”
Aziz added that all 11 were arrested under Sections 17(a), 17(b) and 23 of the MACC Act 2009, which carries up to 20 years in jail or a fine five times the amount of the bribe.
He said MACC was still investigating the amount of the bribe and the assets acquired through the bribes, adding that based on the money trail the agency had traced, it believed that the sum was “large”. MACC obtained a seven-day remand order against the 11 yesterday from magistrate Mohamad Amin Shahul Hamid.
MACC Chief Commissioner Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad