RM100m corruption probe is an old case, says minister

ismail-sabri-sprmPUTRAJAYA: Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri said his ministry will cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in the probe into the alleged misappropriation of more than RM100 million in funds for programmes for the poor.

Ismail said he was made to understand that it was an old case.

“Although it is an old case, the files may still be with the ministry. So, if MACC needs the files, we will hand them over.

“Whatever the MACC needs, we will provide,” he told reporters here.

According to media reports, more than RM100 million in funds for the poor had been siphoned off by ministry officers who had been in cahoots with several companies.

The funds included those allocated for a food aid programme for poor students.

Following investigation, it is learnt that MACC had frozen nine bank accounts, involving RM151 million.

Earlier, Ismail handed over contributions from staff of the ministry and its agencies, totalling RM230,000, to families of victims in the fire which broke out at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah Tahfiz centre on Sept 14.

He said he was deeply saddened by the tragedy as he knew the students personally.

“I used to eat with them and on several occasions was with them for breaking of fast,” he said.

Twenty one students and two teachers-cum-wardens perished in the fire which broke out at 5.15am Sept 14 when they were trapped in the dormitory located on the third floor of the building.

Ismail said the ministry was waiting for the outcome of the investigation on the fire and inspection by the Fire and Rescue Department Malaysia (JBPM) on all tahfiz centres to extend the necessary assistance, such as wiring by GiatMara.