MORE PENANG ZAKAT STAFF TO BE SUMMONED
They will be called up in stages so as not to disrupt operations
AUDREY DERMAWAN AND MOHAMED BASYIR GEORGE TOWN firstname.lastname@example.org
MORE Penang Zakat employees are expected to be quizzed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in connection with the agency’s alleged graft scandal.
Sources told the New Straits Times they would be summoned to have their statements recorded within the next few weeks.
“MACC will continue calling them up until sufficient information and evidence is gathered, including the money trail.
“Until then, the investigation will continue,” the source said.
The source also said MACC would call the employees in stages to avoid any disruption to the agency’s operations.
“Ramadan is coming, so it is understood that the agency will be busy. They will have to be summoned in stages so that Penang Zakat can function as usual.”
State Islamic Religious Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim told the NST that the seven Penang Zakat officers arrested would not be allowed to resume active duties until the investigation was completed.
He said despite not being allowed to resume duties, it would not affect the running of the agency.
“The seven officers arrested, including its 50-year-old chief executive officer (CEO), will be put in a pool pending investigation into the alleged graft scandal.
“We have taken all measures to ensure that the investigation will not disrupt the running of the agency’s daily operations,” he said.
It was reported that MACC received several complaints from the public on the agency’s alleged graft activities.
Penang MACC director Datuk Abdul Aziz Aban had said that the officers were alleged to have received valuable items, cheques and cash from contractors as incentives to give them projects or work related to the agency’s programmes.
He also said the CEO, a “Datuk”, was believed to have given education aid and scholarships to his child without going through the Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Department.
The case is being investigated under Sections 17(a), 17(b) and 23, of the MACC Act 2009 which carries a maximum jail term of 20 years or a fine five times the bribe.
The CEO and three officers were arrested along with seven contractors on May 9 for alleged involvement in the Penang Zakat graft scandal that had been allegedly going on for the past three years.
The seven contractors and two of the officers have been released on bail after a week-long remand, except for the CEO and another officer.
Another three officers were arrested on Monday to assist in the investigation and have been remanded for four days.