More Shafie allies hauled up

(The Star) – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has arrested three politicians in connection with the alleged embezzlement of funds for rural projects in Sabah.

Parti Warisan Sabah Youth chief Datuk Azis Jamman, 43, was arrested after being called up for questioning at the Sabah MACC headquarters yesterday.

The other two are Tenom Umno Youth chief Jamawi Jaafar and Tawau Umno Youth chief Ariffin Kassim. Both Jamawi, 43, and Ariffin, 44, were detained at 5pm.

Jamawi is also the Umno Youth information chief.

Earlier, MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad said investigations were now focused on how RM1.5bil was siphoned off from a total of RM7.5bil allocated for rural projects in Sabah over the past six years.

When asked if a former Cabinet minister would also be called in for questioning, he said: “We will call in whoever we think can assist in our investigations.”

But Dzulkifli did not elaborate if the latest probe had links to “Sabah Watergate” scandal, saying a lot of details were received by them after the Sabah Water Department case last year.

“With the limited number of personnel, we have to focus on certain cases first.

“Every state will have cases, so be patient,” Dzulkifli said, adding that the MACC currently has around 3,000 personnel, including support staff.

Tearful parting: Azis hugging his wife while a family member looks on before he is taken to the MACC office for questioning in Kota Kinabalu.

Tearful parting: Azis hugging his wife while a family member looks on before he is taken to the MACC office for questioning in Kota Kinabalu.

He was speaking to reporters after launching the Bahara Emas theatre play yesterday, held in conjunction with the MACC’s 50th anniversary.

Dzulkifli pointed out that the MACC had been promised a workforce of 5,000 since 2008.

In KOTA KINABALU, the fledgling Warisan suffered another blow after its president’s second closest ally was hauled up.

Azis, a nephew of Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, was engaged in a marathon questioning since 10.30am yesterday over alleged corrupt practices involving rural development projects between 2009 and 2015.

Azis was questioned by investigators and was slipped out of the MACC Sulaman office at around 2pm to another location, according to his lawyer Norazmi Alimat said.

“I do not know where they have taken him. I was shocked but I leave it to the MACC to do their work,” said Norazmi, who turned up at the office at 4.30pm.

It is learnt Azis will be taken to the magistrate’s court for a remand order today.

His arrest came after Warisan vice-president Datuk Peter Anthony, 46, was arrested last Thursday.

Earlier, Azis was seen hugging his wife before entering the MACC Sulaman office while supporters and journalists waited outside.

Sources said investigators are also looking for several key political and business figures.

At least 30 people have been targeted in the probe involving a network of at least 60 companies that were used to tender for rural electricity, water and road projects in Sabah.

Investigators discovered that some of the projects were not completed but full payments were made.