MACC denies claims of no wrongdoing in Sabah Water Dept case

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has denied claims that there was no wrongdoing in the Sabah Water Department's power abuse case.

MACC in a statement said the rumours were spread by irresponsible parties to confuse the public.

"Three individuals, the former director of the Sabah Water Department, his wife, and a former deputy director were charged with corruption and money laundering at the Kota Kinabalu Sessions Court and the cases will be mentioned on Aug 8.

"The MACC advises all parties not to take the opportunity to spin this issue.

"The anti-graft body will monitor and review all false reports that are being uploaded on social media to ensure that there is no attempt to tarnish MACC's reputation," the statement read.

The commission will lodge a police report on the issue against those spreading false information.

The department's former director Ag Mohd Tahir Mohd Talib, 54, was charged with 12 counts under Section 4(1)(a) and Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing, and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

His wife, Fauziah Ag Piut, 51, and former deputy director Lim Lam Beng, 62, have been charged with 19 counts of money laundering amounting to RM2.2mil and four separate counts totalling RM2.38mil under Section 4(1)(b) of the same Act.

The trio were charged in January over RM3.3bil in Federal funds meant for development of water facilities in the state.

All three claimed trial to the charges in the Special Corruption Court after being produced before Sessions Court judge Ummu Kalthom Abdul Samad.

The scandal emerged last year when the MACC arrested Sabah Water Department's former director, deputy director, the latter's "Datuk" brother, and his accountant over the multi-billion scandal.

It later detained over 20 people in relation to the case and recovered more than RM190 million in cash and assets.

The investigation resulted in the largest cash seizure ever by the MACC, netting some RM114 million.

The case took on political connotations after Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, who was former rural and regional development minister during the time of the alleged offences, was questioned over the case.

The former Umno minister turned opposition leader alleged that he was being linked to the case for political reasons.