Malaysia

Selangor sand-mining case still open, MACC board says

Hadenan (centre) said the case remains open until his panel decides that it is to be closed. — Picture by Melissa ChiHadenan (centre) said the case remains open until his panel decides that it is to be closed. — Picture by Melissa ChiKUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — The investigation into the Selangor’s RM600-million loss from sand-mining activities is still ongoing, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) operations review panel (PPO) clarified today.

In a statement issued on February 10, the MACC said it had completed investigations on the alleged sand theft syndicate in Selangor.

However, the Attorney-General’s (A-G) Chambers has returned the investigation papers and recommended that no further action be taken on the case, according to the statement.

Today, PPO chairman Tan Sri Dr Hadenan Abdul Jalil explained that the MACC must present its case to the special panel in order to close it, which it has yet to do.

“It has been an ongoing case ... RPK (Raja Petra Kamarudin) made it lively again...

“The people think the case is closed. The case is still alive it has not been tabled to us (to be closed),” he told reporters at the MACC Academy here, after the panel’s first quarterly meeting of the year.

Earlier this month, self-exiled blogger Raja Petra accused two Selangor state assemblymen of taking bribes from sand-mining contractors.

The duo, Sri Muda assemblyman Shuhaimi Shafei and Batu Caves assemblymen Amiruddin Shari, both from PKR, have denied the Malaysia-Today editor’s claims.

“If the A-G Chambers decide to close the case, it has to be tabled to us but the case has not been tabled to us, that’s for sure.

“So whoever passed the statement, [may have been] misquoted,” Hadenan said.

The former auditor-general said the government incurred more than RM600 million in losses from this case.

He said out of the 43 arrested, 30 are civil servants. The bribes involved in the case ranged from RM500 to RM88,000, he said.

The sand-mining controversy erupted soon after Pakatan Rakyat (PR) took the reins in Selangor, following allegations that sand theft and corruption had cost the state hundreds of millions of ringgit.

“During today’s PPO meeting, we’ve agreed that these assemblymen’s cases be studied again by MACC since there are a few matters which are still being investigated.

“We do not agree to close the (sand-mining) case,” Hadenan said today, adding that the matter was complicated as it involved many different aspects.

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