Shafie: I am innocent
> Ex-minister miffed by finger-pointing over RM3.3b corruption case
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.