MACC to monitor RM320m Sabah water project allocation

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has announced plans to closely monitor the allocation of RM320 million (US$76.7 million) for projects aimed at addressing water supply issues in Sabah. MACC chief Azam Baki has instructed the Sabah MACC to collaborate with the state government in overseeing the funds and their related projects, emphasising the importance of spending the money wisely and adhering to legal processes.

Azam Baki highlighted the seriousness with which the MACC views the matter, citing several cases involving Sabah’s water supply that have been brought to court. The agency will work together with the state government to monitor the projects and works that will be carried out using the allocation, as the issue of water in Sabah is a matter of great concern.

The announcement of the RM320 million allocation followed a recent meeting between Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and Chief Minister Hajiji Noor in Putrajaya, where they discussed the long-standing water problem in the state.

Regarding the appointment of the State Water Department (JANS) director, Azam Baki stated that the decision ultimately lies with the Sabah government. The current JANS director, Suhaimi Asbullah, recently testified to receiving RM1.6 million (US$384,000) in commission money from the Sabah watergate scandal. Suhaimi, a former JANS Beaufort engineer, reportedly returned the money to MACC voluntarily in 2016.

Azam Baki said that if the state has conducted a full vetting of Suhaimi and found him to be clear of any corruption, it is their decision whether to deem him fit for the post. The MACC can only advise and provide their thoughts on the matter, leaving the final decision to the relevant parties.

Suhaimi testified as the prosecution’s 36th witness in the hearing of Sabah’s largest corruption scandal, which involved RM50 million (US$12 million) allegedly siphoned from JANS. The trial includes former JANS director Ag Mohd Tahir, his wife Fauziah Piut, and former JANS deputy director Lim Lam Beng, who face charges of money laundering and unlawful possession of luxury goods.

World News

Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.

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