Sabah water graft – JAS director, deputy suspended

 |Oct 18, 2016
All suspects involved in the nation's largest graft scandal are not allowed to leave state and requested to report to state MACC offive every month.
All suspects investigated over the JAS graft scandal have been barred from leaving Sabah and requested to report to state MACC office every month.

Sabah Water Department (JAS) director and his deputy have been suspended from their duties following their arrest by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in connection with the RM3.3 billion water graft scandal.

State Secretary Sukarti Wakiman said the notices of suspension on JAS director Mohd Tahir Mohd Talib, 54 and his deputy Teo Chee Kong, 52 were issued by the State Public Service Commission.

The suspension for the director and deputy director is effective as of Oct 5th and 4th of this year respectively, the dates when the suspects were arrested.

Under the suspension, both the suspects are prohibited from entering the department’s office or the premises of any other department in Sabah.

“The suspects are also not allowed to leave the state during this period of the investigation,” said Sukarti in a statement today.

The duo and two others were detained on Oct 4 to assist MACC’s probe into what was described as the nation’s largest graft scandal.

The four, including Teo’s businessman brother, who is said to be a ‘Datuk’, and his accountant were released on MACC bail on Sunday and Monday.

All four were ordered to report to the MACC office every month.

A source from MACC said all four would be recalled to assist in the investigation anytime if needed.

“We will complete the investigation papers as soon as possible and forward them to the deputy public prosecutor for further action,” the source said.

 

The duo were earlier held by the MACC to facilitate investigations into a power abuse and corruption case involving infrastructure projects worth RM3.3 billion under the purview of their department since 2010 by giving them to relatives.

 

In this probe, MACC seized RM114mil worth of assets, including RM53.7mil in cash stashed in houses and JAS office, nine vehicles worth RM2.7mil, jewellery worth RM3.64mil and designer handbags worth RM500,000.

MACC also traced RM30mil stashed in foreign banks and 127 land titles worth RM30mil.

Three JAS employees also surrendered about RM1mil allegedly taken in the process of approving water projects.

So far, 82 people, including contractors, families and department officials, had been questioned pertaining to the case.

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Murali is a contributor to MO. He advocates the principle of practising human rights with responsibility.