PUTRAJAYA, Dec 5 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he fully leaves it to the authorities to investigate the alleged misappropriation of RM600 billion in funds by the previous government.
At a media conference after chairing the special Cabinet of the Unity Government here today, he said the Finance Ministry had informed that there had been several breaches involving the funds.
“Several decisions (made) to investigate the expenditure of RM600 billion without tenders (but) it is not for me to decide.
“The Finance Ministry has informed of several breaches but we leave it to the investigative bodies to probe the extent of the alleged corruption and misappropriation,” he said.
The controversy regarding the use of emergency funds amounting to more than RM600 billion while the country was facing the Covid-19 pandemic was raised by former Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari on November 15.
Earlier today, former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin reportedly said he was not afraid of being investigated following claims of alleged embezzlement of government funds amounting to RM600 billion when he led the previous administration.
Muhyiddin said this because he knew he did not misappropriate funds belonging to the people entrusted to the government to be used to help the public during difficult times, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Asked whether a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) will be set up over the issue, Anwar said the matter has not been brought up for discussion with the Cabinet.
“I know that based on information by officials, several serious breaches (allegedly) occurred... excessive (amounts of) procurement to manage projects,” he said.
“I want to focus on managing the national economy, give confidence (to investors) and now things are looking good that India, China, the United States and Europe are showing interest in investing to generate economic growth,” he said.
On police investigations into issues related to race and religion, Anwar said it was done not on his or the Unity Government’s instructions.
“This is based on the Constitution and the strong statements issued by the Conference of Rulers against racial sentiments and religious extremism.
“The order to abide by the Constitution was from the Malay Rulers and as such, criticisms should not be made against the prime minister or the administration.
“I myself had never issued any directive (for racial and religious issues to be investigated) and instead I’ve informed the Inspector-General of Police that in a democratic system, criticism against the prime minister and the government is allowed.
When asked, Anwar also said that the government will review the country’s 5G network plans as it was not done transparently by the previous government.
“...there was no proper tender process. Therefore, it needs to be reviewed to make sure we follow strict financial procedures to ensure it is done properly,” he said. — Bernama