Shafie: I am in­no­cent

> Ex-min­is­ter miffed by fin­ger-point­ing over RM3.3b cor­rup­tion case

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Shafie Ap­dal ( pix) yes­ter­day said blam­ing him for the Sabah Wa­ter De­part­ment cor­rup­tion case was ma­li­cious and po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated.

He said he was caught by sur­prise when Sabah Deputy Chief Min­is­ter Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitin­gan said the RM3.3 bil­lion worth of fed­eral funds had come from the Ru­ral and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­istry dur­ing Shafie’s ten­ure there.

Shafie said it was odd that the state author­ity at­trib­uted blame to the min­istry al­though in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC) was still on­go­ing.

While say­ing he has known Pairin for sev­eral decades and con­sid­ered him a friend, Shafie added he was sur­prised Pairin had specif­i­cally men­tioned pro­jects al­legedly connected to the scan­dal were awarded in 2010 dur­ing his term.

“If it is true the de­ci­sion came from my min­istry, then why was all the money found in the state de­part­ment? It’s not log­i­cal. It does not make sense,” he said.

Pairin had is­sued a state­ment on Fri­day say­ing that the Ru­ral and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­istry re­mit­ted the money di­rectly to the Sabah Wa­ter De­part­ment, and that the state de­part­ment had no knowl­edge of the pro­jects.

Shafie has de­nied in­volve­ment in the scan­dal and said Pairin had as­sumed ma­li­cious in­fer­ence that the pro­jects were not han­dled by the state de­part­ment.

“There is no way the state govern­ment would not be aware of such a big al­lo­ca­tion, and any fund­ing from the fed­eral govern­ment would al­ways in­volve state of­fi­cials such as those in the state pub­lic works de­part­ment and in­fra­struc­ture de­part­ment,” he said, claim­ing that those who were blam­ing him were “play­ing pol­i­tics”.

The for­mer Umno vice-pres­i­dent said he had noth­ing to do with the two state of­fi­cials im­pli­cated in the case, adding that he did not know or ap­point them, and had never in­ter­acted with them.

A spe­cial MACC task force in­volv­ing 70 per­son­nel has been work­ing on the case since last year and is ex­pected to re­cover more money in bank ac­counts abroad.

The direc­tor of the Sabah Wa­ter De­part­ment, his deputy and two oth­ers are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for cor­rup­tion in­volv­ing RM3.3 bil­lion in fed­eral pro­jects awarded to 38 firms be­long­ing to their sib­lings and their prox­ies.

Some RM115 mil­lion in cash and in bank ac­counts, 19.3kg of jew­ellery, 94 hand­bags, for­eign cur­rency, nine lux­ury cars, watches and 127 land grants have been seized from the duo.

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