ACA D-G says don’t hurl claims until probe complete
Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) Director-General Datuk Ahmad Said Hamdan has urged the public not to make accusations against a high- ranking Sabah politician who is under probe for power abuse, forgery and corrupt practice in Labuan until the investigation is completed. “Give us the chance to investigate first. Don’t simply hurl accusations. We want to be fair to all individuals we are investigating,” he told reporters after opening the ACA branch here yesterday. Ahmad Said was commenting on the probe carried out on the politician who allegedly obtained three contracts worth RM40 million through graft. He did not say when the investigation began. “The case is being investigated jointly by Sabah ACA and the headquarters in Kuala Lumpur,” he said. It is learnt that the politician had allegedly bribed some officers at the Federal Territories Ministry — which gives out tenders — to assist his engineering firm to get the lucrative contracts. In addition, the 51-year-old politician is also suspected of forging several documents related to the contracts to obtain an RM8 million loan from a bank in Kota Kinabalu to settle his personal debts and make progress payments to sub-contractors hired by him for the three contracts. He said ACA had received a number of complaints pertaining to money politics during Umno branch meetings nationwide but the number was small and the investigation was ongoing. Every report received by ACA will be investigated under the Election Offences, he stressed. “ACA will also conduct an investigation on two Umno leaders in this State and ACA will call both leaders to facilitate the investigation,” he said. On Monday, an Umno branch leader urged the ACA to investigate the Sipitang Umno branch meetings. Earlier in his speech, Ahmad Said said officers from Kota Kinabalu will be attached on a rotation basis to the new branch, which when fully operational will have 15 staff. The branch will serve a population of more than 300,000 people and obviates the need for locals to go to the Kota Kinabalu office, he said. Many problems reported to ACA are not connected with corruption but have to do with other issues such as land, immigration, registration and education assistance, he added. ACA will also focus on promoting awareness among students of the dangers of corruption and other crimes with cooperation from the Police, he said. “According to the Corruption Prevention Index (CPI) last year, Malaysia was placed 43rd among 190 countries in the world. “In Asia, we were among the best in CPI after Singapore and Hong Kong,” he said. He also pointed out that several countries are making Malaysia as a model nation. Success in combating corruption requires an integrated effort from all quarters, including Government agencies, the private sector and Non –Government Organisations (NGOs), he added.