KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah’s Labuan MP Datuk Rozman Isli says he will fight to clear his name as he faces a charge by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today over an alleged abuse of power connected to the Labuan port.
The Opposition MP said it was related to an allegation that he had abused his power as a board member of the Labuan Port Authority for his personal interest a few years ago when he was part of the government.
“I was only one of nine members of the board. I wasn’t even the chairman. I will face the charge and fight it in court,” he said when contacted yesterday.
He also claimed that the tentative dates for him to be charged had been changed at least twice over the last 12 months.
“Some people have been asking me to leave Warisan and join the government. I refused,” he said.
Rozman said he believed that it was a move to tarnish his reputation ahead of the coming general election. He added that he would give a full statement today.
Rozman, 57, won the Labuan parliamentary seat in 2013 and retained it in the May 2018 general election, both times under the Barisan Nasional banner. He quit Umno to join Warisan in October 2018.
In an interview with Astro Awani in June last year, Rozman said he left Umno to join Warisan after GE14 to pursue the implementation of the Labuan-Menumbok bridge project that was approved as part of the Pan Borneo Highway project.
The broadcaster also reported him as saying that there was no problem being an independent elected representative but the MP later maintained that the statement did not give the true picture of his interview.
In another interview shortly after, Rozman dismissed any hints that he was ready to become an independent and pledged to remain firmly with Warisan, which was heading the state government then.
Earlier yesterday, MACC issued an advisory informing the media that an unnamed lawmaker would be charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today.
Rozman will be charged under Section 23 (1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009. He is expected to be present at the court complex in Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur, at 9am.
MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki confirmed the matter but declined to comment.
Meanwhile, sources confirmed that Rozman would be charged with using his position in relation to the appointment of Labuan Liberty Port Management Sdn Bhd as the operator of Labuan Merdeka Port Terminal. It is learnt that a relative of Rozman has interest in the company.
Section 23 (1) of the MACC Act 2009, which is punishable under Section 24 (1) of the same Act, provides for a maximum of 20 years’ jail and a fine of at least five times the amount of money involved or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.