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Wednesday June 3, 2009

MACC men begin probe

KUALA TERENGGANU: Several Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers were seen photographing and interviewing witnesses at the site of the collapsed roof at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Stadium in Gong Badak.

Four plainclothes officers, including state MACC director Ahmad Sabri Hussin, were spotted at the site between noon and 1pm.

Potential write-off: Several firemen inspecting a car which was damaged by the collapsed roof of the stadium yesterday. — Bernama

When approached, one officer said a probe had been initiated into the awarding and managing of the contract to a South Korean construction firm which was responsible for the work.

“We are probing whether there are elements of graft and mismanagement,” said the officer who requested anonymity.

He said the MACC would focus its probe on the awarding process of the contract.

Asked if politicians and senior government officials had been involved in the awarding of the contract, he said: “It’s still premature and I don’t want to elaborate on this.”

Some 60% of the stadium roof collapsed and the impact severely damaged other parts of the building.

Construction of the RM300mil stadium, which began in 2005, had hit a snag midway apparently due to technical glitches.

The contractor was to hand over the sports complex in April last year to the state government for Sukma, which was held from May 31 to June 6, but delivery was only made a month later.

In an immediate response, Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Mansor said his ministry would cooperate with the MACC and that it would be transparent, adding that it had nothing to hide.

“I am more concerned about our image being sullied abroad and I welcome MACC to investigate,” he said.

Batu Burok assemblyman Dr Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi said the matter was of public interest and that the MACC should centre its probe on the involvement of “high-powered individuals”.

Meanwhile, some 5,000 athletes representing 20 higher learning institutions who were to converge at the stadium for a sports meet had to go to a different venue at the last minute.

The organiser’s spokesman Zakaria Ibrahim said the event would go ahead as planned.


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