Allegations against assistant minister given priority, Sarawak MACC says

The entrance of the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya is pictured on November 19, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara
The entrance of the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya is pictured on November 19, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUCHING, Feb 22 ― Sarawak Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commision (MACC) is treating two reports of corruption and abuse of power lodged against assistant minister Datuk Naroden Majais as a priority, its director Razim Mohd Noor said today.

However, he said it will take time to complete the investigations.

“Yes, that is why I give you an assurance because he is a state leader. This is a sensitive case so we have to take it seriously, like the truth of the allegations against him,” he told reporters after witnessing a handing over of duty between senior assistant commissioner Zulhairy Zaidel and senior assistant commissioner Chang Ching here.

“We have not called him yet. We need to see what the allegations against him are. We will call him once we have gathered enough information.

“We don’t want to call him to come many times to our office,” he added.

Razim said MACC has its own standing operating procedure regarding the timeframe on completing investigating papers on corruption and abuse of power cases.

“If not, I have to answer to my headquarters why,” he said, referring to the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya.

Razim said the state MACC does not have any time constraint in investigating reports against Naroden, but that it faces staff shortage because of the many reports lodged with the state MACC.

“But in [Naroden’s] case, we have to give it priority,” he said.

The first report against Naroden, who is the assistant minister for E-Commerce as well as Entrepreneur and Small, Medium Enterprise Development, was lodged late last year by the villagers of Kampung Lubok Buntin in Simunjan while the second report was lodged by former journalist Joseph Sipi early this month.

The two reports were related to land matters, but in different places.

The villagers of Kampung Lubok Buntin had also lodged police report against the assistant minister.

Naroden, when responding to the two reports, had said he would give his full cooperation to MACC in its investigation.