A slew of scandals

  • Nation
  • Friday, 17 Aug 2018

Following the fall of Barisan Nasional, a slew of scandals that allegedly took place under its nose surfaced. There has been no rest for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) which have been investigating the scandals involving billions of ringgit.

While the main focus for the graft busters and Malaysians is the scandal-riddled 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and the RM2.6bil that has found its way into former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s personal account, other wrongdoings cropped up from reports lodged by politicians, members of the public and even whistleblowing reports from civil servants themselves.

Below are some of the cases that are being investigated since Pakatan took over the Government.

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) 

> At least six countries, including Malaysia, the United States and Switzerland, are probing an alleged misappropriation of 1MDB funds amounting to about RM17bil.

> In late 2015, the MACC discovered that RM42mil was transferred from SRC International Sdn Bhd (a former subsidiary of 1MDB), into Najib’s account. This is in addition to the RM2.6bil deposited into Najib’s personal bank account but he denied any wrongdoings, saying that the money was a donation from a Saudi prince before the 2013 general election and that RM2.5bil had been returned to the donor after the polls.

> A 1MDB special task force was formed, comprising former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull and former chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed and former Special Branch deputy director Datuk Abdul Hamid Bador.

> More than 400 bank accounts of individuals, political parties and NGOs involving a total of RM1.1bil were frozen. Some accounts, including Najib’s, were unfrozen from time to time after it was discovered that the accounts had no links with 1MDB.

> The Government has since seized the RM1bil superyacht Equanimity belonging to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, believed to be bought using money stolen from 1MDB.

> Low, who is also known as Jho Low, is believed to the mastermind behind 1MDB.

> The Government is also targeting a Bombardier Global 5000 private jet, which was also allegedly acquired using 1MDB funds.

> On Wednesday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng filed a motion in Parliament for the Auditor-General and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to reopen investigations into 1MDB and called for all information related to the probe to be made public.

> On July 4, Najib was charged using his positions as prime minister and finance minister to receive a RM42mil gratification when he was involved in the government’s decision in providing a guarantee for a RM4bil loan from the Retirement Fund Inc to SRC International.

> On Aug 8, Najib was slapped with another three counts of money laundering amounting to RM42mil that was linked to SRC International.

Book publication scandal

> A project to buy 20,000 copies of the book “Najib Razak, Di Sebalik Nama” for RM400,000 at the end of 2017.

> Believed to had involved a director of Permodalan Usahawan Nasional Berhad.

> Alleged to have appointed a publishing company belonging to a crony.

> Investigations by MACC began early June.

Sale of 64 parcels of land by DBKL

> The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) sold 64 parcels of land valued at RM4.28bil without open tender between 2013 and 2018.

> The deals, involving 170ha of land, were allegedly made through direct negotiations.

> Out of the 64, 16 lots of land, or 37.24ha of land, were sold to a single property developer for RM785mil.

> MACC loaded a truck filled with documents about the land sale on June 4.

Gas pipelines issue

> The projects are the Multi-Product Pipeline (MPP) and the Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP), totalling RM9.41bil.

> The MPP is a 600km multi-product petroleum pipeline connecting Melaka and Port Dickson to Jitra in Kedah, costing around RM5.35bil while the TGSP is a 662km gas pipeline from the Kimanis gas terminal to Sandakan and Tawau, costing around RM4.06bil.

> Projects are handled by Suria Strategic Energy Resources Sdn Bhd (SSER) - a wholly owned subsidiary of the Finance Ministry. Both projects were awarded to the China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPPB) on Nov 1, 2016.

> SSER had approved payments totalling 87.7% of the project sum to CPPB although the work done for MPP and TGSP was only at 14.5% and 11.4% as of March 31 this year.

> The MACC has seized various files related to the projects from several locations on July 18.

1Malaysia Negaraku scandal

> Funds totalling RM25mil or 1Malaysia Negaraku projects were believed to be embezzled as the some of the projects were not carried out.

> A senior officer of the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) with a Datuk title allegedly approved the payments for the projects.

> It was said that he was instructed by a former Communications and Multimedia Minister to manage the revenue and payments.

> Investigations began early July and the MACC has since recorded statements from several high ranking officers from the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

“Speedy Gonzales” contract

> An RM99mil contract between Tourism Malaysia and a local company was allegedly inked in just a day.

> The contract is said to involve the company, acting as a go-between for Tourism Malaysia and a China-based firm to promote Malaysia on social media.

> The matter came into limelight when former Tourism Malaysia chairman Wee Choo Keong highlighted it on his blog?

> MACC conducted an “inquiry” at the Tourism Malaysia office in Putrajaya and seized related documents on June 6.

RM300mil projects

> The CEO of a GLC – a Datuk – allegedly abused his power and position to award tenders for construction projects worth RM300mil in Putrajaya.

> The projects were initially awarded via open tender but several issues were created on purpose to prevent the companies from carrying out the projects.

> The Datuk then sought a replacement contractor, who he had interest in.

> He was arrested on June 27 and remanded for three days.

> A GLC architect was arrested on June 30 and remanded for five days. He is said to have acted as a middleman and manipulated several construction project costs.

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