PUTRAJAYA: The Finance Minister says he will check to see if the Malaysia Totalisator Board should get its approval first before making future sponsorship commitments.
Lim Guan Eng said he was not aware that the body, which is an agency under the ministry, had sponsored a trip for Bukit Aman’s top brass to visit Turkey.
He said as per current procedure, the board need not seek the ministry’s approval to make any sponsorship.
“We want to check if after this, we can ensure that the Totalisator Board gets the greenlight from us first.
“The MoF did not approve the sponsorship of the trip, it was the board which approved it,” he told reporters after presenting a RM50mil cheque to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof in aid of tahfiz schools nationwide.
Whistleblower site Sarawak Report reported that Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun and 17 other senior police officers went on a lavish trip to Turkey which cost over RM300,000.
Following the expose, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he had approved the trip sponsored by the Malaysia Totalisator Board, an agency under the Finance Ministry which acts as a regulatory body to oversee racing and betting activities.
He said the officers attended training to combat online gambling.
Lim said the board did “not get a sen from MoF” but from a number forecasting company.
On whether he planned to impose the “MoF approval first” policy on all agencies under his ministry, Lim felt that a blanket directive would not be suitable.
“For example, Bank Negara. We want it to act independently. We don’t want to impose this type of restriction. Let me deal with this specific case first,” he said.
On the issue of his credentials as a chartered accountant raised by MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, Lim declined to take questions saying, “I will leave it to my lawyers (to deal with).”