MACC records state­ment from chair­man

New Straits Times - - News -

KEPALA BATAS: The Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC), in­ves­ti­gat­ing Pe­nang Zakat’s al­leged graft scan­dal, has recorded a state­ment from Pe­nang Is­lamic Coun­cil pres­i­dent Datuk Mohd Salleh Man to as­sist in its in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Salleh, who is also Pe­nang Zakat chair­man, said high-rank­ing of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing the Pe­nang Is­lamic Af­fairs De­part­ment di­rec­tor and Pe­nang Zakat sec­re­tary, also had their state­ments taken by the graft­busters last Fri­day.

“Sev­eral high-rank­ing of­fi­cers and I have given our state­ments over al­le­ga­tions of mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion and crim­i­nal breach of trust of Pe­nang Zakat’s de­vel­op­ment project funds.

“I can’t comment much about the mat­ter, and will leave it to MACC to carry out its in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” he said here yes­ter­day.

Salleh said Pe­nang Zakat had not yet de­cided on a re­struc­tur­ing of the agency’s top of­fi­cials as it was await­ing the out­come of MACC’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“Those ar­rested are only called to as­sist in in­ves­ti­ga­tions. No charges were brought against them. Let us wait and see the progress in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

Yes­ter­day, three peo­ple, ar­rested on Monday for al­leged links to the agency’s graft scan­dal, were pro­duced at the mag­is­trate’s court here for re­mand.

Mag­is­trate L. Umma Devi granted a six-day re­mand against the trio, aged be­tween 33 and 49.

Sources told the New Straits Times that two of the three ar­rested were ex­ec­u­tives of Pe­nang Zakat, while the third per­son was a clerk.

“We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing to de­ter­mine their in­volve­ment, if any, in the graft scan­dal.

“It is still too early to say any­thing. We are record­ing their state­ments to as­sist in our in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” the source said.

The three, all clad in or­ange MACC lock-up T-shirts, ar­rived in court at 2.40pm.

The is­sue came to light af­ter MACC de­tained 11 peo­ple on May 9 for al­leged in­volve­ment in the Pe­nang Zakat graft scan­dal that had been go­ing on for the past three years.

Among those de­tained were the agency’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, whose re­mand had been ex­tended by an­other four days, since Monday.

It was re­ported that in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the case be­gan in De­cem­ber af­ter MACC re­ceived sev­eral com­plaints from the pub­lic.

State MACC di­rec­tor Datuk Ab­dul Aziz Aban had said that the 11 de­tained were sus­pected of be­ing in­volved in a con­spir­acy to share the profit gained from Pe­nang Zakat com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment con­tracts with the con­trac­tors and sup­pli­ers.

They were de­tained un­der Sec­tion 17(a), 17(b) and 23 of the MACC Act 2009, which car­ries up to 20 years in jail or fine five times bribe.

MACC is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the amount of bribery in­volved and as­sets ac­quired through the bribes.

PIC BY MIKHAIL ONG

MACC of­fi­cers es­cort­ing three peo­ple, ar­rested on Monday for al­leged links to Pe­nang Zakat’s graft scan­dal, to the Ge­orge Town mag­is­trate’s court for re­mand yes­ter­day.

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