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Malaysia’s anti-graft agency says more may be charged in case involving COVID-19 aid

Malaysia’s anti-graft agency says more may be charged in case involving COVID-19 aid
File photo of the crest of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. (Photo: Bernama)

KUALA LUMPUR: The chief commissioner of Malaysia’s anti-graft agency on Thursday (Feb 23) said that there could be more people who may be charged in connection to their involvement in the Jana Wibawa programme.

According to local media, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Azam Baki said that there were more investigation papers being prepared for the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).

"There are still papers that remain under investigation, so I do not rule out the possibility of anyone, including leaders, if they are involved in bribery, being recommended for prosecution," Mr Azam was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.

Two people have since been charged in relation to the Jana Wibawa programme - an economic generation project during Malaysia’s COVID-19 movement control order. It was a stimulus aid package that was meant to help Bumiputera contractors.

The financial aid was given out during president of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Muhyiddin Yassin’s tenure as prime minister.

Mr Azam on Thursday, however said it will be up to the AGC to decide if Mr Muhyiddin is a witness or suspect in connection with the Jana Wibawa programme.

The Star quoted Mr Azam as saying that he could not elaborate on the matter as the investigation is still ongoing.

"I will let the AGC decide once the case investigations are completed if he is to be charged. We have yet to send the investigation paper to the AGC as we are still in the midst of our investigations," said Mr Azam as quoted by the Star.

Two members of Bersatu have since claimed trial in connection to the Jana Wibawa case - Tasek Gelugor Member of Parliament Wan Saiful Wan Jan as well as businessman and Segambut Bersatu division deputy chief Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad. 

On Wednesday, Wan Saiful resigned as Bersatu’s information chief, telling local media that he had relinquished the role due to his ongoing court case.

Mr Muhyiddin, the Bersatu president, later confirmed Wan Saiful’s resignation. He, however, cautioned that the decision was not an acknowledgement that Wan Saiful was guilty, Malay Mail reported.

“This is a standard that we want to set against any allegations or perceptions against Bersatu. He himself volunteered to hand in his resignation, I appreciate his decision.

“His post will be filled with another supreme council member, we will appoint immediately as the post is important since we will face state elections soon,” Mr Muhyiddin was quoted as saying by the Malay Mail.


Separately, Mr Azam said the MACC has arrested a man who had accused the commission of offering RM10 million to Wan Saiful to implicate Mr Muhyiddin in the Jana Wibawa case.

The New Straits Times reported that the man was arrested when he presented himself to the commission’s headquarters on Wednesday.

"I will not forgive those who have tarnished the MACC's reputation. We have lodged a report and conducted our own investigation. The man in question has been arrested for further investigation,” Mr Azam was quoted as saying by the daily.

He added: "(The man’s) statement has resulted in a lot of speculation over the commission. These (aspersions) will remain there (online) and can't be removed. Many will still believe it (the accusation).”

Local media had previously reported that the man, who had claimed to be Wan Saiful’s research officer, made the accusations in a 44-second video on TikTok.

Source: Agencies/as(ih)


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