Ex-aide to former minister nabbed

KUALA LUMPUR: A former political secretary to a former senior Cabinet minister was among two people arrested by graft busters as part of a probe into kickbacks from a multi-million ringgit book printing project.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) sources said the project was estimated to be worth around RM80mil.

The other person arrested is an owner of a company who is believed to have been in cahoots with the former minister in soliciting and receiving bribes through his company as a result of having a book printing project approved via direct negotiations.

Both men were detained after having their statements taken on Friday night at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya.

According to one source, the former political secretary is in his 20s while the company owner is in his 50s.

Putrajaya Magistrate’s Court registrar Nur Adilah Halid granted the MACC a four-day remand until Sept 26 on the suspects.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Ahmad Khusairi Yahaya, in confirming the arrests, said: “The case is being investigated under Section 16(a)(A) of the MACC Act.”

In a response to the arrests, Putrajaya MP Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin maintained his innocence, saying that he had never sought for bribes nor accepted them.

“I would like to stress that I have never asked nor received, either directly or through others, any form of bribery or kickbacks from any party ever.”

Radzi, who was once Education Minister, refuted accusations of him approving direct negotiations for the RM80mil project.

Responding to allegations of corruption concerning the J-Qaf book printing project, he said:

“Such allegations, which were raised in (social media) messages that linked me and my wife in the printing of the J-Qaf pre-school books, are absolutely false.”

He dispelled talk that his wife had acted as a proxy via a company called ATR One & Only Enterprise and that she was a member of the royal family with a Tengku title.

According to him, his wife was not a part of any royal family, nor does he and his wife have any ties to the aforementioned company.

In a statement yesterday, he acknowledged the arrest of his former political secretary by the MACC. “(On Friday), the MACC arrested my former political secretary over this issue and a WhatsApp message had been uploaded on social media.”

“It is clear that the purpose of the WhatsApp message that has been forwarded is merely to destroy my image and reputation, and to oppress my former officer who is innocent,” he added.

He warned that legal action would be considered against those who had “forwarded and reprinted” the accusations.

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