MACC free to probe entire Jana Wibawa programme, says PM


KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) is free to probe the entire Jana Wibawa programme and not only projects during the tenure of former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, says the Prime Minister.

"Some say the first phase of Jana Wibawa 1.0 was under Pagoh (Muhyiddin) and Jana Wibawa 2.0 was under Bera (Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob).

"I am not bothered if the MACC wants to check and I never said they must only check Jana Wibawa 1.0.

"If the MACC feels there is evidence under Jana Wibawa 2.0 under Bera, investigate him," Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said when wrapping up his ministerial replies on Budget 2023 in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (March 9).

He cited an example where the government had cancelled the approval of a directly-negotiated Bumiputra project under Jana Wibawa after irregularities were found.

"I did not cancel it but asked for it to be renegotiated as much of it went against regulations.

"There was a Chinese company which was considered 'Bumiputra' because they had a good friend in Johor," he said.

Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, raised the issue to rebut the claims that the government practices selective prosecution against Perikatan Nasional opposition leaders.

Former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will face a number of charges at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex on Friday (March 10).

In a statement, the MACChas confirmed that Muhyiddin, who is also the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president, will be charged under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.

The Commission added that Muhyiddin will face charges under Section 4(1)b of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorist Financing and Proceeds of Illegal Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA) 2001.

On Feb 21, Bersatu Malaysia information chief Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan faced several charges of corruption related to the Jana Wibawa programme.

The Tasek Gelugor MP and another individual, businessman Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad, were charged at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court related to the programme.

The Jana Wibawa programme was approved for implementation by the Cabinet in November 2020, and it is aimed at assisting Bumiputra contractors to weather the economic hardship during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was reported that MACC investigations centred on RM92.bil from the RM600bil government economic aid package, of which Jana Wibawa was part of.

Meanwhile, Anwar took a swipe at the opposition, particularly PAS, for lambasting the government for selective prosecution against several of their leaders.

"I want to state here that I am hot holding this post (prime minister) to oppress, pressure or be cruel.

"I know what it means to be a victim of selective prosecution," he said, adding that the opposition should not slander the government if there was evidence of corruption involved.

"If it (corruption) is false, no need to wait for PAS to defend.

"If it is not true, I will stand up to speak out against it and it doesn't matter whom," a visibly charged Anwar said to thumps of approval from government backbenchers in the House.

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