MACC grills former PM over RM700 million for advertising and promotional activities.

By The Malketeer

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri faced an extensive questioning session by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) that lasted nearly five hours.

The statement recording process commenced at 10 am and concluded at 4:45 pm, marking a significant development in the ongoing investigation into the alleged misuse of RM700 million to promote Ismail Sabri’s administration’s accomplishments.

As reported by Utusan Malaysia, the MACC’s statement confirmed that Ismail Sabri’s statement was recorded to aid in the probe related to the substantial fund allegedly used for promotional activities during his tenure. The investigation focuses on projects awarded to specific individuals, including the implementation of two programmes initiated under the previous administration.

The case is being pursued under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Act 2001 (Amlatfpuaa) and the MACC Act 2009, according to sources. Additionally, the MACC is set to delve into the wealth of Ismail Sabri and his family members, scrutinising their financial holdings for any irregularities.

The Malay daily reported that another former high-ranking government official is expected to be summoned soon to assist in the ongoing probe. This move signifies a broader inquiry into the affairs of the previous administration.

Furthermore, the MACC has already recorded the statement of a former aide to the ex-prime minister concerning the allocation of projects. It is understood that the aide’s statement will be revisited, including that of her husband, in subsequent phases of the investigation.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim previously informed Parliament that the hefty sum of RM700 million was utilised for advertising and promotional activities highlighting the federal government’s achievements between 2021 and 2022.

Anwar claimed that Ismail Sabri’s predecessor, Muhyiddin Yassin, had spent approximately RM500 million, while Ismail Sabri used around RM200 million for the same purpose.

Anwar expressed concerns about the seemingly excessive spending, stating, “I believe this breaches rules and regulations, showing excessive spending.”Last month, Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil emphasised the need for transparency regarding the RM700 million expenditure, urging a thorough examination of whether all transactions were recorded appropriately and if any legal violations had occurred.

The ongoing investigation raises questions about financial accountability within the government and the adherence to regulations governing public spending.

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