Mat Sabu: I will not interfere with MACC probe into aide

Teoh Pei Ying

KUALA LUMPUR: Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said he would not interfere with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation against his political aide.

He said he wanted the commission to investigate the matter according to the letter of the law.

“Let them settle (the investigation) in accordance with the laws that they have, the executive (branch) will not intervene,” he told reporters after a visit and dialogue session at the Royal Military College, here, last night.

Mohamad had said in a statement yesterday that he would not compromise on integrity and was willing to cooperate with the MACC if any of the ministry’s officers are investigated for corruption.

On Tuesday, MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Azam Baki confirmed that the commission was probing the officer, who had allegedly received RM800,000 from several quarters to help him settle his debts and free him from bankruptcy status.

The investigation was launched following a tip-off. The political aide has already had his statement recorded by MACC.

The officer was declared bankrupt by the Insolvency Department four years ago. He remained a bankrupt until the end of May, when the department received payments from several quarters.

On another matter, Mohamad said he supported the suggestion for the government remove the phrase “Saya yang menurut perintah” from the declaration read by civil servants, and replace it with “Saya yang menjalankan amanah”.

“For me, the new slogan is better and I support it,” he said.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mohamad Mahathir had earlier in the day, during a town hall session with Administrative and Diplomatic Service officers, suggested the change.

Meanwhile, Armed Forces chief General tan Sri Zulkifli Zainal Abidin, who was present at the same event, said former youth and sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s resignation 508th Regiment of the Territorial Army would be brought before the Armed Forces Council.

He said the armed forces did not have any restrictions against reserve officers who wanted to resign.

“They can apply to be commissioned and they can also do the same when they want to quit. But, the process in the Defence Ministry is different. The resignation would have to go through some processes, including being referred to the Armed Forces Council,” he said when asked to comment on Khairy’s resignation which he announced via an Instagram post earlier. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd