KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has initiated an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing over a RM300mil loan from a state-owned bank to AirAsia.
Sabah MACC director S. Karunanithy said they would first check if there were potentially any offences under the MACC Act but said he was unable to reveal any more details over the case.
This comes after a local daily reported on Wednesday (Oct 28), quoting a source, that Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor had ordered a probe into how the RM300mil approved by the state-owned bank under the previous Warisan Plus government to AirAsia was allegedly disbursed in a hurry after the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah government took over.
Former chief minister and finance minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who is also Parti Warisan Sabah president, said he welcomed the probe.
He said the loan was not done overnight as the bank would have done its analysis and consideration before approving it.
AirAsia, Shafie said, is a company listed on Bursa Malaysia and any transaction amounting to RM300mil or above would have been approved after thorough consideration.
"The applicant must fulfil all requirements set before approval is given," he added.
He said as an airline company trusted and chosen by many Malaysians, AirAsia had drawn up a development plan that would benefit the state and its people as a whole, by, among others, creating some 100,000 job opportunities.
Shafie said the airline had also planned to use RM110mil to upgrade the Kota Kinabalu International Airport into an international hub.
He said other development plans involving AirAsia was to see Sabah become an exporter of food, and thus the help of an airline was very important.
He said as a responsible government, they should be giving AirAsia all the cooperation needed to see these plans through for the sake of the rakyat and the state.
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