‘Our fa­ther’s not a millionaire’

Hamid Ap­dal’s daugh­ters shocked that me­dia is crim­i­nal­is­ing him

The Star Malaysia - - Nation -

KOTA KIN­A­BALU: The chil­dren of ex-car sales­man Hamid Ap­dal ar­rested by graft busters are sad­dened by claims he is a millionaire and he is be­ing crim­i­nalised in the me­dia.

Hamid’s el­dest daugh­ter Nu­rul Azi­rah said they were shocked to read news re­ports of their fa­ther be­ing de­scribed as a millionaire. “This is so far from the truth. “Like other fam­i­lies, we have our strug­gles,” 26-year-old Nu­rul Azi­rah told a press con­fer­ence, adding that her fa­ther was is­sued a bank­ruptcy no­tice in 2014 and seven years ago, their first house was auc­tioned off.

Among oth­ers who were also present at the press con­fer­ence were her younger sis­ters Nu­rul Amizah, 25, Nu­rul Amisah, 23 and Nu­rul Azureen, 19.

Hamid, the younger brother of Warisan pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Ap­dal, was ar­rested on Tues­day by the Malaysian An­tiCor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC) in its probe into the al­leged si­phon­ing of ru­ral devel­op­ment funds meant for Sabah.

Nu­rul Azi­rah said she and Nu­rul Amizah were mar­ried with fam­i­lies of their own and con­tin­ued to live with their par­ents.

“There are 15 peo­ple liv­ing in that ter­race house. It’s not a mas­sive bun­ga­low as claimed in some re­ports,” she added.

A tear­ful Nu­rul Azi­rah said her fa­ther had noth­ing to do with the Ru­ral and Re­gional Devel­op­ment Min­istry and had worked as a car sales­man be­fore they were born.

She said their fa­ther’s in­come was from let­ting Felda use their fam­ily land to cul­ti­vate oil palm on the east coast of Sem­porna.

Nu­rul Azi­rah said they were wor­ried for the health of their fa­ther, whom they de­scribed as a shy and quiet per­son who did not like to trou­ble oth­ers.

“Even if there is some­thing wrong with him, he is not the type to ex­press it.

“He would rather put up with it so as not to in­con­ve­nience other peo­ple,” she said in ap­peal­ing to the MACC not to ex­tend her fa­ther’s five-day re­mand or­der that ex­pires to­mor­row.

Nu­rul Azi­rah said the last time they saw their fa­ther was when MACC of­fi­cials brought him to the house on Tues­day.

There were about six of them and they went through cup­boards, cab­i­nets and even knocked on walls, she said, adding that they took away some doc­u­ments af­ter spend­ing an hour in the house.

Hamid was the sev­enth per­son ar­rested in con­nec­tion with a graft probe into the al­leged skim­ming of up to RM1.5bil in fed­eral project al­lo­ca­tions in Sabah through the Ru­ral and Re­gional Devel­op­ment Min­istry.

The MACC is ex­pected to make more ar­rests as it sifts through about 350 projects that were given to some 60 com­pa­nies be­tween 2009 and 2015.

The money was al­legedly si­phoned from RM7.5bil worth of project funds.

The MACC has so far frozen RM170mil in bank ac­counts and as­sets of some of the com­pa­nies in­volved.

Their side of the story: (from left) Nu­rul Amizah, Nu­rul Azi­rah, Nu­rul Azureen and Nu­rul Amisah an­swer­ing ques­tions from the me­dia at the press con­fer­ence in Kota Kin­a­balu.

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