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

New Straits Times - - Front Page -

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

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