Rural Projects Graft Probe: Shafie Could Be Arrested, Hints MACC Chief

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Dzulkifli Ahmad and other MACC officers visited the Sungai Intan water treatment plant in Semporna on Thursday as part of their investigations into alleged misuse of development funds.

By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
SEMPORNA: There will be more arrests, just give us (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) time – these were the terse words of Dzulkifli Ahmad, its chief commissioner here.

Dzulkifli told reporters after visiting the Sungai Intan water treatment plant here Thursday that so far MACC has called 45 people to facilitate investigations into misappropriation of rural infrastructure development funds in Sabah involving RM1.5 billion.

He said seven, four of them politicians, two businessmen and a civil servant, were currently under remand, but more will be called up soon to help facilitate investigations in alleged misappropriation of funds under the ministry of Rural and Regional Development.

“We will call all those involved as well as anyone who could assist us in the investigation as this issue appears to involve more than 70 projects involving huge sums of money,” he said.

However Dzulkifli skirted around a question as to whether Mohd Shafie Apdal, a former Umno minister, would be called in or arrested.

Ketua Penerangan Pemuda Umno Pusat dan Ketua Pemuda Tenom, Jamawi Jaafar.

“We will call all in due course; whoever was needed or involved in their probe would be called in,” he said when asked if more relatives including other brothers of Shafie would be called in.

A younger brother of Shafie, Haji Hamid, and his nephew, Mohd Azis Jamman are among the seven under remand, along with two Sabah Umno division chiefs, Jamawi Jaafar (Tenom) and Ariffin Kassim (Tawau).

On claims by Parti Warisan Sabah that the probe was politically motivated, he said that the investigations was about possible corruption and abuse of power and had nothing to do with targeting any particular party or person.

“We are not investigating a political party. We are investigating any misuse or abuse of government funds meant to benefit the people.

“Our arrests does not target any specific people; we have arrested people from both Warisan and also Umno among others,” he added.

On the water treatment plant in Kampung Sungai Intan, he said that it was a reflection of government funds failing to benefit the people.

“The project is completed but it is not able to function,” he said.

He said the people in the area had been waiting for 30 years for piped water but now they still have to rely on a well with water supplied every two or three days.

According to news reports, the Sungai Intan Water Treatment Plant (LRA) project here that was completed last year and should supply water to around 1,800 residents of Kampung Sungai Intan and surrounding areas has not been used until today.

Yusrie Yusup, a Kampung Sungai Intan committee member said the villagers were disappointed when the Rural Water Supply Project (BALB) project built by the Rural and Regional Development Ministry (KKLW) in 2013 had not provided any benefit to the people.

“We know that Semporna has experienced difficulty in obtaining a clean supply of water since before and the project should benefit the residents of Sungai Intan, Sungai Tohok to the area of Senallang and Bugaya,” he was quoted as saying.

The LRA project was to address the district’s water problems and provide for the usage of6 million cubic litres of water for local residents.

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