DAP Sabah Chairman Stephen Wong has demanded that Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan take responsibility for the Water Department scandal and quit the State Cabinet.
Wong, who is also Sandakan MP, pointed out the Water Department comes under Pairin as State Minister for Infrastructure Development.
“It’s astonishing that RM3.3 billion can by-pass the Ministry and be embezzled,” he said in a statement carried by the Borneo Post.
Wong believes this is only the tip of the iceberg. “More acts of impropriety will soon surface,” he warned.
He urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to hold on to its mandate. “It should continue to act without fear or favour, ” added Wong. “All those involved in wrongdoing should be brought to justice.”
He was commenting on a statement by Pairin on Friday.
The Deputy Chief Minister, who is also Huguan Siou, explained that billions were channelled by the Federal Ministry of Rural and Regional Development to the Water Department without his Ministry’s knowledge.
“The procurement and the payments were handled by the Federal Ministry and the State Water Department,” he said. “My Ministry had no role.”
He said that he was shocked when he read in the social media about the arrests, and the stories and photographs being circulated.
Pairin, who recently took leave as Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President, pledged to extend his full co-operation to the MACC on the Water Department Scandal. “We will leave no stone unturned,” he said.
He was referring to two Water Department officers being investigated by the MACC for suspected corruption and abuse of power.
MACC reportedly seized RM52 million in cash as well as property and other valuables from the homes and offices of two suspects and banks on Wednesday.
MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner (Operations), Azam Baki, described it as “the biggest cash bust” involving civil servants.
The State Water Department Director, Ag Mohd Tahir, 54, deputy Teo Chee Kong, 52, Teo’s businessman brother, 51, and his accountant have been roped in by the MACC.
The MACC is probing allegations that RM3.3 billion in Federal projects were awarded to 38 firms owned by the two siblings and proxies.
The RM114.5 million allegedly seized involves cash, money in the bank, 20 kg of jewellery, 94 handbags, foreign currency, nine luxury cars, watches, and 127 land grants.
It’s believed that statements have been taken from at least 46 people. They include staff and contractors of the Water Department, and family members of those allegedly involved in the wrongdoing.
According to sources, a special MACC Task Force of 70 people has been working on the case since last year.
FMT Reporters Online