The RM3.3 billion worth of federal projects under probe for corruption were directly channelled to the Sabah Water Department without the state government’s knowledge, Sabah deputy chief minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said today.
Pairin, who is the infrastructure development minister said allocations were directly channelled to the state Water Department as the implementing agency without his ministry’s knowledge.
“I understand that this particular RM3.3 billion worth of federal projects is under the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development, of which my ministry does not handle,” he said in statement released today.
He said the procurement of the projects as well as the payments were handled by the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development and the state Water Department.
“In light of this development, my ministry will study and propose an appropriate reporting system, which will put the ministry in the loop,” he said.
Pairin said he was “truly shocked” to hear of the arrests of two top officers from the Sabah Water Department.
He stressed that his ministry would leave no stone unturned in investigating the two officers suspected of corruption and abuse of power.
The 54-year-old director of the department, his 51-year-old deputy, his 55-year-old businessman brother who carries the title Datuk, and his accountant are currently are being probed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for graft offences involving RM3.3 billion worth of federal projects awarded to some 38 firms belonging to the duo’s siblings and proxies.
Some RM115 million worth of cash, bank accounts, 20kg of jewellery, 94 handbags and foreign currency was seized from the duo along with nine luxury cars, watches, and 127 land grants.
At least 46 people are being called up for statements, including staff and contractors of the Water Department, and family members of those involved.
A special MACC task force involving 70 personnel has been working on the case since last year and are unexpected to uncover more money in bank accounts abroad.
The Malay Mail Online