PENANG: The Penang Anti-Corruption Agency will record a statement from Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Hilmi Yahaya over allegations that he had interfered in a sexual harassment case.
Its director Abu Kassim Mohamed said officers would call up Dr Hilmi soon to give a statement to shed light on the case.
We expect to wrap up investigations within a month, he said yesterday when asked to elaborate on a press statement he issued earlier in the day.
Abu Kassim said the ACA started investigations into the case a few weeks ago and had since recorded statements from more than five people, including the social activist and the alleged sexual harassment victim.
In his statement, Abu Kassim said his officers were investigating along the lines of the politician allegedly using his office or position for gratification.
Two main things must be considered prior to taking action under Section 15 of the Anti-Corruption Act. They include determining if the politician profited from his alleged interference or if he had vested interest in the pharmaceutical company.
If our investigations showed that he had acted as part of his duties as an assemblyman, it is not categorised as an offence and no action will be taken, he said.
Abu Kassim added that the case had been given priority and once investigations are completed, it would be referred to the ACA headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and thereafter to the prosecution division.
Recently, an English daily reported that social activist Lim Ai Yim had accused Dr Hilmi of interfering in the sexual harassment case.
She alleged that Dr Hilmi had used his public office to appeal against a decision by the Immigration Department to terminate the work permit of the expatriate accused of sexually harassing a subordinate.
On July 9, Dr Hilmi released a statement denying her allegations and said he did not condone the alleged sexual harassment, which was under inquiry by the Industrial Court.
He said the revocation of the permit was not due to sexual misconduct but because the expatriates application form was incomplete.
In Butterworth, Dr Hilmi said he would leave it to the ACA to investigate the matter.
I do not have any further comments because I have said enough.
However, I will give my fullest co-operation to the agency to assist it in its investigations, he said after presenting zakat (tithe) to needy students pursuing higher studies yesterday.