KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — The RM115 million corruption case at a Sabah utility is unlikely to be limited to state officials, said Tenom MP Datuk Raime Unggi.
The Sabah lawmaker said corruption of such scale must logically involve collusion at the Rural and Regional Development Ministry given that the case involved RM3.3 billion in projects it handed out in 2010.
The ministry had then been headed by former Umno vice president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
“This case of abuse happened in 2010 and it behoves the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to also investigate the minister and senior federal officials involved as it is related,” he said in a statement today.
“If two senior state department officials could monopolise the projects tendered to amass the extraordinary wealth of hundreds of millions, then it is impossible that the ministry was not aware.”
Raime insisted, however, that he was not accusing anybody in particular, but said it was only logical to conclude that projects worth billions would come with approval from the minister as well as his senior officials.
The federal lawmaker also pointed out that unlike state departments, which he asserted usually hired 10 different contractors for projects, the minister had full discretion to approve spending for contracts up to RM100 million.
“Hence, it is impossible that the relevant minister did not know the games or theatre that is limited tenders happening behind the scenes and involving firms processed by the state department.”
The MACC this week exposed what it described as the largest case of corruption locally with the arrest of two senior department officials in Sabah.
The 54-year-old director, his 51-year-old deputy, his 55-year-old businessman brother who carries the title Datuk, and his accountant are currently are being investigated for corruption involving RM3.3 billion in federal projects awarded to 38 firms belonging to the two siblings and proxies.
Some RM115 million worth of cash, bank accounts, 20kg of jewellery, 94 handbags and foreign currency was seized from the duo along with nine luxury cars, watches, and 127 land grants.
At least 46 people are being called up for statements, including staff and contractors of the Water Department, and family members of those involved.
A special MACC task force involving 70 personnel has been working on the case since last year and are unexpected to uncover more money in bank accounts abroad.