Former CJ denies dodgy deal with Sabah govt to purchase Covid-19 test kits

Tan Sri Richard Malanjum speaks during the ‘Our Constitution’ book launch in Kuala Lumpur March 20, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Tan Sri Richard Malanjum speaks during the ‘Our Constitution’ book launch in Kuala Lumpur March 20, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KOTA KINABALU, May 28 — Former chief justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum today denied accusations that his non-governmental-organisation (NGO) was in cahoots with the state government over the recent purchase of Covid-19 test kits.

Malanjum said that the accusations were completely false and that he had already lodged a police report against a blog site sabahkini2.com which published the allegations in an article.

“I have the documents and all the accounts that I can show, but if they were sincere in finding out, they should have come and asked, but no, they are hiding, and making stories out of nothing. How can I even answer? Most you can say is that it’s not true.

“We have lodged a report this morning. They cannot just accuse and slander,” he said when contacted.

Malanjum said that his charity NGO, the Osimal Foundation, was only trying to help the state government procure the test kits from Singapore when there was a lack of supply.

“I came forward to help. Who else could do it? I don’t know when charity became a problem. If only we knew who we could sue in this case, we would.

“If they were sincere in their queries, we could show them everything. They could go to the Chief Minister’s Department, the Health department, and then come to us. We have all the documents to show that all we did was coordinate, we are not in business so there is no profit.

“Anything we spent, we get reimbursed, because we are not a government department and we cannot pay on behalf of the government,” he said.

The blog accused Malanjum of money laundering as his foundation was only set up during the pandemic last March that would enable him to receive government funds to procure the Covid 19 test kits.

The state government purchased test kits (reagents) from Singapore costing some RM1 million, through Malanjum’s foundation. 

On April 3, Osimal, together with the Johor-based Datuk Chua Song Lim and Datin Koh Said Eng Foundation helped source some 10,000 Covid-19 testing reagent kits from Singapore as stocks nearly ran out in Sabah.

The state government also contributed to the purchase of the reagents worth US$200,000 (about RM900,000).

The article questioned the move and also the cost of the purchase for a test kit that was not known to be completely reliable.

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