Former rural and regional development minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal has been arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to facilitate investigations into the alleged embezzlement of some RM1.5 billion worth of funds for rural projects in Sabah, according to Bernama.
The national newswire reported that the 60-year-old was arrested at 9pm after he went to the Sabah MACC office to give his statement on the case, which involved the siphoning off of some RM1.5 billion worth of funds from rural projects in aid of the poor.
The report said MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki, when contacted, confirmed the arrest, but refused further comment. Mohd Shafie is expected to be taken to court for remand application.
MACC is investigating the alleged embezzlement of RM1.5 billion of government funds meant for rural development projects.
The other ten individuals who were arrested by MACC in connection to the case include:
• Shafie’s brother, Hamid Apdal (released on RM50,000 MACC bail)
• Another sibling of Shafie, Lahad Datu assemblyman Datuk Yusof Apdal (remanded for four days starting 19 October)
• Hamid’s son-in-law Manzur Hussein Alam Khan (released on MACC bail)
• Tenom UMNO Youth chief Jamawi Jaafar (released on MACC bail)
• Tawau UMNO Youth Chief Ariffin (released on MACC bail)
• Warisan Youth chief Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman (released on MACC bail)
• Warisan vice-president Datuk Peter Anthony (released on RM50,000 MACC bail)
• Warisan media representative Armarjit Singh (released on MACC bail)
• Local contractor Yu Sin Kong (released on MACC bail)
• A 40-year old former deputy undersecretary (infrastructure) from the rural and regional development ministry (released on MACC bail)
The RM1.5 billion was said to be part of RM7.5 billion project funds for Sabah
According to media reports, the RM1.5 billion funds were intended to finance projects to improve basic amenities (such as upgrading of water and electricity supply, repair of roads, and food programmes) for the underprivileged in Sabah.
It was reported that about 350 projects under the Rural and Regional Development Ministry are being investigated by the MACC over allegations of embezzlement. MACC has frozen some RM170 million in bank accounts and assets of companies involved in some 70 projects (out of the original list of 350 projects).
New Straits Times (NST) reported MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Azam Baki as saying that the agency launched an investigation into the case following a public tip-off after the Sabah State Water Department corruption scandal.
“We have our own whistle-blowers. They came forward and told MACC about irregularities in rural projects,” he was quoted as saying.