MACC may call up Radzi over book-printing graft probe

KUALA LUMPUR: Graft busters are expected to call up former education minister Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Jidin in connection with an investigation into a multi-million ringgit book-printing project.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki said the Putrajaya MP will be called up eventually.

“There is a high probability but not now. We are still conducting further investigation on the matter,” he said.

According to earlier reports, the MACC had arrested a former aide to a minister and another person in its probe into alleged kickbacks from the project.

Sources said that the two suspects were arrested after having their statements taken on Friday night at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya.

Both men have been remanded until tomorrow.

The first suspect was a political secretary to a former senior minister, in his 20s.

The other is an owner of a company, in his 50s, who is believed to have collaborated with the minister in asking for and receiving bribes through his company as a result of having a book-printing project approved via direct negotiations.

The book-printing project was estimated to be around RM80mil.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Ahmad Khusairi Yahaya confirmed the earlier arrests.

The case is being investigated under Section 16(a)(A) of the MACC Act 2009.

Meanwhile, Radzi has denied any involvement in the J-Qaf book-printing project that has prompted an MACC investigation.

The Putrajaya MP refuted allegations of approving direct negotiations for the project, describing it as “defamatory”.

“To the accuser, you may be happy after doing this heinous act, but you will have to answer for it in the afterlife,” said the former minister.

In a three-minute video posted on his Facebook account yesterday, Radzi denied allegations that he and his wife were connected to J-Qaf, the company which was awarded the preschool book print project through direct negotiation.

Radzi also denied claims that his wife is a member of a royal family with a “Tengku” title and has links to the company.

“My wife’s name is Balkis binti Datuk Syeikh Haji Zakaria bin Haji Ahmad Wan Besar,” he said, adding that his wife is the daughter of Zakaria, a senior religious scholar in Kedah, known for his books and radio appearances.

“The accusations are totally defamatory. My wife never interfered when I was the education minister. Even when she asked when school would be reopened during the Covid-19 pandemic, I said to wait for the statement on TV,” he said.

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