We are investigating any misuse or abuse of government funds meant to benefit the people, says MACC chief Dzulkifli Ahmad

KUALA LUMPUR: MACC Chief Commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad today clarified that his agency’s probe into the siphoning of funds for rural poor projects in Sabah was not a political witch-hunt targeting Parti Warisan Sabah and its president Mohd Shafie Apdal.

Speaking to reporters in Semporna today, Dzulkifli said this in dismissing claims by Warisan that the probe was politically motivated.

So far a number of Warisan’s senior leaders and Shafie’s relatives have been remanded for investigation. Party leaders have said that they were expecting Shafie to be arrested any time soon over the matter.

“We are not investigating a political party. We are investigating any misuse or abuse of government funds meant to benefit the people,” said Dzulkifli, reported the Star Online.

“Our arrests are not targeting anybody specific; we also have arrested people from Warisan and Umno, among others,” he said after visiting the water treatment plant project at Kg Sungai Intan here.

Dzulkifli also declined to specify if former rural and regional development minister Shafie or any more of his brothers would be arrested.

“We will call all in due course,” he said, adding that 45 people had been arrested so far and the MACC was scrutinising over 70 rural development projects in Sabah.

Investigators suspect that some RM1.5 billion might have been siphoned out through a network of companies that were granted contracts for the projects.

He said the water treatment plant in Kg Sungai Intan was an example of government funds not reaching the people.

“The project is completed but it is not able to function,” he said, adding that people in the area had been waiting for 30 years for piped water.

“As a government agency, MACC wants to ensure that all projects are implemented with honesty and integrity. If anyone abuses their power or commits corrupt practices, we will act against them,” he said.

Among those arrested in this case are Shafie’s younger brother Hamid Apdal, Warisan vice-president Peter Anthony, Warisan Youth chief Mohd Azis Jamman, Tenom Umno Youth chief Jamawi Jaafar, Tawau Umno Youth chief Ariffin Kassim and a local businessman, Yu Sin Kong.