Sabah minister to be charged over Risda land deal tomorrow

Sabah Infrastructure Development Minister Peter Anthony is to be charged over a Risda land deal tomorrow.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Infrastructure Development Minister Peter Anthony will be charged at the Sessions Court tomorrow for a previous Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) land purchase deal.

Anthony, a Warisan vice-president, confirmed today that he had been served with a warrant by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to appear in court at 8am.

He had gone to the MACC office at 2.50pm earlier today to be questioned over road concession projects and came out shortly before 6pm. He had also spent seven hours with MACC yesterday.

Speaking to reporters today, he said he accepted the warrant served on him, stating that he will continue to fight for the truth, claiming the charges were politically motivated.

“I have no problem appearing tomorrow. If they want to detain me, I am ready. This is an old case which has been settled.

“They can do whatever they want but I will keep on fighting. We are Sabahans and will not be made fools of any more,” Anthony said.

Anthony was detained by MACC in January 2018 to facilitate investigations into an oil palm land purchase deal worth RM155 million in the Tongod district in Sabah. He was later freed on bail.

The Melalap assemblyman said MACC officers told him that the charge involved money laundering allegations linked to a Risda land deal several years ago.

“It’s only one charge but they can come up with 10 to 20 charges because they are the government. But there’s nothing to be scared of if we are not wrong. We are not scared, even of dying.

“But everyone in Sabah knows this matter has already been resolved. Last week, a lawyer (representing children of a lawyer whose firm was linked to the deal) said the matter had been settled. What has it got to do with me?

The lawyer representing the family of Michael Persius Ubu had said that RM18 million had been returned to Risda from the land deal.

Anthony reiterated that this latest move by MACC was politically motivated, saying he had anticipated this.

“We know what to expect with the Perikatan Nasional government. They are trying to break our spirit in Sabah so that we will join them but the elected reps here are firmly behind our chief minister.

“But Sabahans are not fools and we have integrity. Malaysia belongs to all of us, not only to PAS and Umno.

“The 46 charges against a former Sabah chief minister were dropped and they want to take on one case which has already been resolved? I urge MACC not to be used as a tool,” he said.

Anthony believed he won’t be the last Sabah politician aligned to the state coalition to be politically harassed.

“I think more people will be called; it’s not impossible. But what’s important is we should rise up against people who want to bring down Sabahans.

“The people will punish an iron-fisted government in the next election. We believe in God, not in PN,” he said.

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