KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 — Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has denied any knowledge of Totalisator Board of Malaysia (TBM) sponsored trips for senior police officers when he was the home minister, a news portal reported today.
“Personally, I do not know about this and if at all it happened, then it wasn’t brought up to my level,” the Sembrong MP, who was home minister from 2009 to 2013, said in a MalaysiaKini report.
“If it is indeed true (that the trip was funded by gambling proceeds), then it is not right because the person who funded the trip has an interest.”
Hishammuddin was commenting on the controversy surrounding a recent trip by Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun and 15 other high ranking officer to Istanbul to study methods of tackling gambling in the country.
On Friday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Totalisator Board in November 2017 approved RM184,864 for the trip, adding that such trips had been approved several times by Barisan Nasional when it was still in power.
He stressed that he was unaware of the sponsorship as it was handled and approved by the directors of the board, which is a unit under the ministry.
Hishammuddin also said in the MalaysiaKini report today that Lim was just shifting the blame over the issue on Barisan Nasional.
“But now they (Pakatan Harapan) are ruling. Why refer to past trips? If you say the previous government approved them, then they are a lot of things the previous government approved.
“What is Lim trying to cover up by blaming us?” he said.
The Totalisator Board derives its funds from gaming operations
According to MalaysiaKini, the board currently receives five per cent of net profits from gaming company Da Ma Cai, with an average of RM9 million per year.
They also receive RM10 million from agents annually as well as RM6 million in annual royalties from telephone betting.
The board also receives funds from rental proceeds and fixed deposit interests.