Fairus under probe again

(The Star) GEORGE TOWN: The state Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has reopened its investigation of alleged corruption involving former Penang Deputy Chief Minister 1 Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin.

State MACC director Latifah Md Yatim told a press conference at the state MACC building here yesterday that the case was reopened after it obtained additional documentary evidence from a member of the public.

Latifah Md Yatim

“This information shows there is supporting evidence for us (MACC) to reopen the case and I will make sure no stones are left unturned in the course of this investigation,” she said.

Latifah said the MACC received the additional information in June and has completed investigations.

“We submitted the investigation papers to the MACC headquarters early this month for further action,” she said.

Latifah also said MACC officers recorded statements from Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and several exco members last week.

MACC investigating officer Yaacob Angah told the press conference several documents were also taken from Lim’s office.

She said Mohammad Fairus was cleared of graft by the MACC in April as there was not enough evidence to prosecute him for alleged involvement in illegal quarry dealings in Penang.

Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin

Mohammad Fairus stepped down as deputy chief minister on April 8 and as Penanti assemblyman on April 16.

When contacted, Mohammad Fairus expressed surprise over the reopening of his case.

“They told me that the case has been closed before. I can’t say anything more until the MACC contacts me,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lim said he was unhappy that the MACC was reopening the probe against Fairus, saying he felt that the case was closed.

Lim accused the MACC of “unprofessionalism” and said he would not meet its officers over the issue although the relevant documents would be submitted.

Lim said the body had decided in April not to pursue the case due to insufficient evidence to prosecute the former Penanti assemblyman.

“The MACC had already concluded that Fairus was not involved and the matter was closed. Now, it has requested for a meeting with me to certify certain (exco) minutes on the issue.

“We do not understand this at all. Is this the way the MACC does its work?” Lim asked during a press conference in his office.