Special body to monitor government transactions, says Dr Mahathir

  • Nation
  • Friday, 03 Oct 2003

LANGKAWI: A body to monitor all government transactions has been set up to prevent the recurrence of the fake treasury cheque scam where several states lost millions of ringgit to a syndicate. 

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the body, headed by the Finance Ministry, was now focusing on statutory bodies and government-owned companies. 

“We want all reports to be made under a set schedule and format,” he told reporters after lunch at Awana Porto Malai here. 

In a related move, the Perak Government has tightened security on the issuance of cheques to contractors and companies to prevent its treasury cheques from being cloned. 

TECHNICAL UPDATE:Dr Mahathir being briefed by Armaris sales and marketing department director Philippe Sauvageot (thirdfrom left)on the Scorpene submarine at the Lima exhibition in Langkawi yesterday.The French company will deliver thesubmarine to the Royal Malaysian Navy in 2007. - STARpic by MUSTAFA AHMAD

Disclosing this in Ipoh, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali said that, however, he could not reveal the measures taken by the state government for security purposes. 

He thanked officers at Bumiputra Commerce Bank for taking the extra effort to verify the cheques before approving an application from a woman who tried to cash fake treasury cheques in May. 

“Swift action by the bank officers saved the state government from losing over RM300,000 in a cheating attempt,” he told reporters after checking the final preparations for the opening of Wholesome Family Carnival in conjunction with Perak Carnival at Ipoh sports complex. 

In Kemaman, Bernama reports  

Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam as saying that the state government would take legal action against Malayan Banking (Maybank) if it failed to pay back the RM1.29mil which had been withdrawn with cloned cheques. 

The court action would be the last resort against the bank, he told reporters after opening a socio-economic survey excellence course. 

However, a Maybank spokesman in Kuala Lumpur said that they had settled the payment to the Malacca Government in full. 

“The last payment was made on Wednesday,” he said in a telephone interview yesterday. 

In Penang, police are trying to determine how many counterfeit state treasury cheques were deposited into the three branches of a bank on the island. 

“We are obtaining the records to see the date and time these cheques were deposited.  

“It will take some time to get the records as a lot of red tape is involved,” said state police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Othman Talib. 

DCP Othman said that since the scam was uncovered, 26 people had been arrested and questioned, adding that 613 such cheques had “surfaced” and 35 bank accounts with over RM1.1mil had been frozen. 

“The scam’s 32-year-old mastermind is already known and one of his right-hand men was also arrested.. 

“He is likely to be hiding somewhere in Malaysia. Immigration personnel have been directed to be on the lookout for him,” he said.  

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