DEPUTY Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi has denied political motives in anti-graft operations linked to the Rural and Regional Development Ministry in Sabah, in which a state opposition party leader was arrested.
“In this matter, I believe we are sufficiently transparent. It does not have political elements,” Zahid told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today.
Parti Warisan Sabah vice-president Peter Anthony was detained yesterdayafternoon as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission moved in on those suspected of embezzling millions of ringgit from the ministry.
Zahid said yesterday’s operations had been planned for some time.
“I hope the ministry is ready to hand over the necessary evidence and documents to help with the investigations.”
MACC investigators raided 15 locations in Sabah, including business offices and ministry offices as part of a probe into alleged embezzlement of government funds.
About RM180 million in cash had been seized or frozen in accounts so far, the MACC said.
Anthony was among several businessmen and contractors in Sabah who were awarded contracts for projects when the Rural and Regional Development Ministry was helmed by Shafie Apdal, the president of Warisan, a source had told The Malaysian Insight yesterday.
Anthony had also previously denied social media allegations that he had made a false claim of RM42 million while undertaking work for Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and that he was under investigation by MACC over false claims.
Zahid today said MACC should be allowed to do its job.
“We should trust that the MACC is able to carry out its job, which is to ensure that the projects that were meant for the people are in fact benefitting them,” Zahid, who is also home minister, said.
“The projects are not meant to be dropped in the middle of the road somewhere (to be picked up) or to be sliced up into pieces to benefit a few instead of the people of Sabah and Sarawak.”
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT