Parti Warisan Sabah Vice President Peter Anthony remanded for five days over MACC probe of alleged siphoning of government funds under Rural and Regional Development Ministry.
Parti Warisan Sabah supporters gathered at the courthouse in Kota Kinabalu today as they waited for the party’s vice-president Datuk Peter Anthony to be remanded.
They arrived at the courthouse as early as 7.30am but dispersed peacefully when they were informed that the remand application would only be filed after Friday prayers at about 2.30pm.
Described as a “key ally” of party president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, Anthony was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) at 6.40pm yesterday. This was after he had given his statement in connection with allegations that millions of ringgit were siphoned from rural development projects worth RM2 billion, believed to have been given to proxy companies.
It is learnt that Anthony, a founding member of Warisan, was among several businessmen and contractors in Sabah who had obtained projects under the Rural and Regional Development Ministry, which was then helmed by Shafie, a former Umno vice-president.
Shafie was dropped from the ministry in 2015 and soon quit Umno after criticising Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration. He set up Warisan and has announced his intention to take over the state.
Claiming that the probe into the siphoning of rural project funds is politically motivated, Shafie said today that he is ready to meet graft-busters.
Borneo Post said Anthony, 46, had earlier denied making a false claim of over RM42 million while undertaking a work contract with Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).
According to the portal, Anthony, who is also director and owner of Asli Jati Engineering, said his company received a certificate confirming it had completed the contract from UMS in compliance with all stipulated rules and scope of work.
“I strongly deny the allegations that have gone viral on social media that I am being investigated by MACC for making false claims.
“We have never made any false claims and all payments, including the certificate confirming the completion of the contract from UMS, have been received. So there is no question of us making a false claim,” Anthony was reported as saying.
He slammed the allegations as attempts to smear his reputation.
He said whenever his company forwarded a claim, the government’s engineers assessed it and a committee would evaluate all work done before giving its approval.
Two other individuals were also arrested last night. A 40-year-old former deputy secretary of a division in the Rural and Regional Development Ministry was detained at 8.15pm and 52-year-old construction company owner Yu Sing Kong at 8.45pm.
It was reported that the MACC had frozen bank accounts involving RM151 million and raided 15 locations in the state after it started investigating the case.
Another RM29 million was frozen yesterday.
Malay Mail Online reported today that almost RM180 million was embezzled from the Rural and Regional Development Ministry’s funds for the underprivileged, citing a source close to the graft investigation.
The funds were to finance projects for the underprivileged, mainly in Sabah. Among the projects were upgrading of water and electricity supply, repair of roads where the hardcore poor live, and food programmes for poor students.
According to the source, the money seized was in bank accounts belonging to privately registered companies which were sub-contractors in the projects.
More raids and seizures are expected in the coming days.
Earlier report: Oct 5, Probe into Senior Public Servants, Companies, Robbing the Poor