PENANG – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is investigating two letters, which appear to have originated from state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh, asking that no action be taken against an illegal factory.
The letters, written in 2015 and 2016, directed the Seberang Prai Municipal Council from shutting down the carbon filter-processing factory which had been operating illegally for the past 10 years.
The MACC is also investigating whether Phee or his officials had authorised the letters telling the council to back off.
As Phee and two of the company’s directors were remanded yesterday, the MACC is expected to call up a DAP state assemblyman for questioning.
It is understood that MACC is also probing the relationship between Phee and the factory owners.
It wants to find out how the factory could operate openly despite complaints from the villagers nearby.
“The illegal factory is on an agro-based land. (We want to know) why it has been able to operate without any action (taken against it),” a source told Sunday Star.
When contacted, MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki said the anti-graft body will carry out a thorough probe and look into all angles.
Azam said investigations will focus on the element of abuse of power.
“We have opened an investigation paper under Section 23 of the MACC Act.
“We will look into whether one of the suspects has given (any form of) protection to the illegal factory to enable it to continue operating the last 10 years,” he said.
He declined to elaborate further as investigations were ongoing.
Sources said anti-graft officers revisited the house of the state exco member in Sungai Puyu on the mainland to look for more evidence to assist in the probe.
It is not immediately known if documents were seized.
The homes and offices of two other suspects will also be revisited as part of the probe.
More arrests are expected in the coming days as investigations into the case widen.