COINCIDENCE OR NOT, THE MOMENT ANWAR SAYS ‘I HAVE THE FILE’ – FIRE BREAKS OUT AT FINANCE MINISTRY’S STORE – EVEN AS MACC OPENS PROBE INTO RM600 BIL FUNDS ‘MISAPPROPRIATION’ – ‘A PILE OF PAPERS IS BELIEVED TO HAVE CAUSED THE FIRE’ – AND ALTHOUGH IT WAS PLAYED DOWN AS ‘SMALL FIRE’, 3 ENGINES & 23 FIREFIGHTERS RUSHED TO THE SCENE

Finance Ministry’s bulk waste, maintenance store catches fire

A department spokesman said it had received a call at about 2.34pm and rushed to the scene and said no one was injured in the fire.“Three engines and 23 personnel rushed to the location. A ministry staff member who was in the ministry parking lot raised the alarm. Smoke from the fire also triggered the building fire alarm,” the fire department spokesman told the Malaysian Insight.

He said the department’s emergency response team’s (ERT) quick actions stopped the fire from spreading to another store in the vicinity.

He said the team checked for other potential sources of fire before ending the operation.

The spokesman said the K9 dog unit was also deployed to determine the source of the fire.   TMI

Renovation works may have led to fire at Finance Ministry, say cops

PUTRAJAYA: Sparks from a nearby renovation works that accidentally hit a pile of papers is believed to have caused the fire at a dumpsite located on the ground floor of the Finance Ministry here on Tuesday (Dec 6).

Putrajaya OCPD Asst Comm A. Asmadi Abdul Aziz said police received the distress call via MERS999 at 2.36pm.

“The fire, which occurred at the ministry’s bulk waste storage area, was first noticed by an electrical maintenance staff member.

Investigations revealed that the fire was believed to have been caused by sparks from renovation works that had set a pile of papers aflamed at the dumpsite, he said.

“However, the real cause of the fire is still being investigated by the Fire and Rescue Department.

“The fire was completely put out and no one was injured during the incident,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry also confirmed that a small fire had occurred at the dumpsite.

“The fire was successfully put out by the Fire and Rescue Department. The fire did not spread to other areas at the headquarters.

“There were no injuries or losses reported,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry is still waiting for the official report from the authorities on the cause of the fire.  ANN

MACC opens investigation paper on ‘misappropriation’ of RM600bil funds

PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has opened an investigation paper into the alleged misappropriation of RM600 billion in funds by the previous government.

MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki confirmed the matter but declined to reveal more details on the investigation being carried out by the agency.

The controversy over the usage of emergency funds totalling more than RM600 billion when the country was facing the Covid-19 pandemic was raised by former Melaka chief minister Adly Zahari on Nov 15.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said he would leave it to the authorities to look into the issue of the RM600 billion allegedly misappropriated by the earlier government.

According to Anwar, the finance ministry had acknowledged several breaches involving the funds.

Former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin was yesterday reported as saying that he was not afraid to be investigated over allegations of misappropriating government funds amounting to RM600 billion when heading the administration. FMT

Don’t challenge me, Anwar tells Muhyiddin on RM600 billion funds

Anwar said based on the information obtained, there were some processes and procedures that were not followed by the PN government, adding that there were companies with family interests involved.

“So don’t challenge me. I want to focus on governing the country, driving economic growth and providing welfare for the people.

“But once we are challenged, we will have to look into things,” Anwar said in his first press conference as finance minister in Putrajaya today. 

Yesterday, Muhyiddin told a media conference after delivering a speech at the PN Grand Finale talk in conjunction with the Padang Serai election that Anwar should investigate the matter before making any statements.

Anwar, who is Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman, questioned Muhyiddin on his statement when he was prime minister, calling it misleading.

“The statement is misleading, it is as if the government spent so much money for the people, (but) a large amount is actually EPF (Employee Provident Fund) money which belongs to the people. I commented on this two years ago in Parliament.

“The people thought the government was spending so much (for them). Now he (Muhyiddin) has admitted, actually, it was not the government’s money because the money is EPF money and money belonging to banks through the moratorium.

“But there are other tens of billions of ringgit, which shows there was a violation of the rules,” he said.

On a statement by  PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan asking the prime minister to provide evidence that Perikatan Nasional had received funding from gaming companies for the recent general election, Anwar advised him not to be hasty in issuing statements on the matter.

“Don’t be hasty because I am now the finance minister, I have the file,” he added. BERNAMA

PM has RM600b improprieties files, halts RM7b direct tender flood projects

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim claims to have evidence on RM600 billion of improprieties allegedly linked to Perikatan Nasional.

He has also halted RM7 billion in flood mitigation projects, which he said were approved via direct tender.

Flood mitigation works were previously under the purview of the Environment and Water Ministry – headed by PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.

Yesterday, Anwar insinuated that PN’s election funds were partially sourced from gambling firms.

He also said that probes were underway on RM600 billion that was awarded without tender on unspecified matters.

PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan has threatened to sue if Anwar does not furnish proof of the gambling fund claims.

Asked about Takiyuddin’s demands, Anwar gave an answer on the RM600 billion allegations instead.

“He (Takiyuddin) didn’t read. RM600 billion is the full allocation.

“(We are) reviewing where there are violations of procedures and leakages.

“My advice to Takiyuddin, don’t get flustered, I am at the Finance Ministry. The files are with me,” he said.

‘Muhyiddin, don’t challenge me’

Earlier, Anwar also took potshots at PN chief Muhyiddin Yassin for admitting that the bulk of pandemic aid provided when the latter was prime minister was the people’s own monies, including their Employees Provident Fund savings.

Muhyiddin had used this as a defence to deny allegations that RM600 billion was appropriated by his administration.

However, Anwar said the improprieties involved other funds during the pandemic.

“There are tens of billions in other (allocations) which showed a breach of procedures.

“So I want to remind Muhyiddin, don’t challenge me because it is evident that there are processes and procedures which were not adhered to and there were several companies with vested interests or family-linked that were involved,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the flood mitigation projects, Anwar said the RM7 billion was from the RM15 billion allocated.

He ordered the projects awarded via direct tenders to be halted and reviewed to provide transparency and adherence to procedures.

He said the senior civil servants involved in the project at the time were mostly following orders.

Previously, during the election campaign, PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli – who is now the economy minister – claimed that RM2 billion in flood mitigation projects were bulldozed without tender.

Tuan Ibrahim denied this and is suing Rafizi.

Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, who was finance minister in the previous government and is the international trade and industry minister now, had said that approval for the RM2 billion was done by the book. – MKINI

THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT / BERNAMA / MKINI

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