Richard Riot gives his statement to the MACC, and may be called back for more information over the SDFC probe, according to the MACC chief.
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot arrived at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Putrajaya yesterday accompanied by his bodyguard at 10am and left at 8pm.
When asked by reporters why he spent such a long time at the MACC, the Minister responded: “biasalah” (it’s normal).
The 66-year-old Serian Member of Parliament was there to give his statement into the probe of an alleged misappropriation of some RM40 million from the Skills Development Fund Corporation (SDFC).
MACC chief Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad said the investigating team may get Riot to give more information after going through the statements of the Minister and his political secretary.
“The processing of documents involving the funds would have gone through more than one person.
“There could be more people called in during the investigations,” Dzulkifli said.
Riot’s political secretary was remanded for six days, from Sept 28 to Oct 3, to assist in the probe. The 61-year-old ‘Datuk’ was being investigated under Section 17 (a) of the MACC Act 2009 for giving or accepting gratification by agent.
The “big arrest”, as Dzulkifli had called it, was after the political aide had given a statement at the MACC headquarters at 12.30pm on Wednesday.
It was learnt that a flying squad from the MACC headquarters joined by their counterpart in Sarawak, raided the man’s office in Serian division recently.
Following his political secretary’s arrest, Riot had urged the public against equating arrest by the MACC with a guilty verdict.
“A person is innocent until proven guilty. Being investigated doesn’t mean they are convicted.
“Most people take it that the moment they are remanded by MACC, the first thing they will say ‘(they) have committed a crime, already convicted’. That should not be the way,” Riot was quoted as saying.
The man, who has been Riot’s political secretary since 2013, was the fifth person to be arrested in connection with the probe.
Four people were arrested on Sept 13 at several locations in Kuala Lumpur over allegations that they had embezzled RM40 million government funds – RM15 million in 2016 and RM25 million this year – meant to have been used to train jobless individuals.
The four – the corporation’s chief executive, 58; secretary, 34; assistant financial officer, 32; and a company director, 38 – were remanded for six days from Sept 14 and released on MACC bail.
The SDFC was established in June 2006 under the Skills Development Fund Act 2004 (Act 640) to manage the Skills Development Fund, which was previously run by the Skills Development Fund Division under the Human Resources Ministry.
Earlier report, Sep 14, SDFC Big Shots Arrested for RM40M Swindling Case