MACC reopens Fairus graft case

Written by Regina William, The Edge 

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has reopened its probe on former deputy chief minister 1 (DCM1) Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin in connection with illegal quarry operations.

Penang MACC chief Latifah Md Yatim said the case was reopened following new information and written documentation received by the MACC in June.

At a press conference at the MACC office here today, she said: "We interviewed Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and also several executive councillors on this matter last week. We concluded our investigations and the papers have been sent to the MACC headquarters. We are waiting now for further instructions from the headquarters."

Her statement was contrary to Lim's earlier today that he had refused to be interviewed by the MACC. Speaking to reporters earlier, Lim said despite having cleared Fairus of graft charges, the MACC had requested for documents related to the allegations against Fairus.

He said the MACC had approached him last month to obtain copies of the minutes of land committee and state executive council meetings during which the quarry issues were discussed.

Fairus, who quit his DCM1 post and the Penanti state seat after the MACC had initiated its probe against him, was cleared of the charges on April 23.

"Are they reopening the case? The MACC has also requested to meet me on this matter but I have declined to see them, as the case was closed by them in April. They are free to come here and see me in my office," Lim said.

"We have nothing to hide. The state government has declassified the documents requested and will hand them over to the MACC," he said, accusing the MACC of deliberately targeting Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders and that the organisation had lost all credibility.

He said the commission should be disbanded and a new independent organisation devoid of political involvement should be set up.

"They should not play politics as graft is a serious matter and they must carry out their investigations without fear or favour and stop being a political tool for the Barisan Nasional (BN)," he added.

Meanwhile, PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub lambasted the MACC for focusing only on cases involving opposition politicians.

Speaking at the PAS Permatang Pasir election operations centre, he said it was not an issue who they investigated, but in many instances the target was the opposition.

"This is a conspiracy and selective investigation. The MACC should not follow what the BN and Umno want them to do," he added.