‘No action against assistant minister until court decides’

MIRI: No action will be taken against a Sarawak assistant minister now under probe by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) into alleged corruption and abuse of power until the court makes its ruling.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem said at the moment the assistant minister would be retained in the state cabinet line-up as the investigation was still ongoing and it was unfair to take action as the law presumed a person as innocent until proven guilty.

This person (assistant minister) has not even been charged in the court how do you presume he is guilty, it is for the court to decide, he told reporters after attending a dialogue with the Orang Ulu community here yesterday.

On Wednesday, MACC Investigation Division director, Datuk Mohamad Jamidan Abdullah revealed that MACC had frozen RM4 million in several bank accounts of a Sarawak assistant minister to probe into alleged corruption and abuse of power.

Jamidan said the action was taken after they received reports about abuse of power involving the construction of a state government building.

Jamidan said the MACC received reports of alleged corruption and abuse of power involving the construction of Baitul Makmur II, a 16-storey building worth RM250 million.

On the dialogue, Adenan said, the Orang Ulu community had voiced their support for the construction of the Baram hydroelectric project.

The project will start as soon as possible, he said, adding that it would be based on tender operating procedure and according to international guidelines.

He assured that continuous engagement with the local community would be a priority to ensure a smooth implementation.

The RM4-billion project will involve resettling more than 20,000 people from 25 villages when the project commences.

The exact time frame for the implementation has not been fixed yet. Bernama