It was another blow for former Prasarana Berhad chairman and Pasir Salak MP, Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman when he was detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for alleged abuse of power.
It was reported that the 73-year-old was detained yesterday at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya, while being questioned by investigators.
He is said to have been detained to facilitate investigations under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009, for using his office or position for gratification but was released on conditional bail on the same day.
MACC had been probing Prasarana – the GLC Tajuddin formerly headed – over alleged abuse of power.
The probe was initiated after, among others, allegations surfaced that he was pulling strings in a project that a family-linked company was involved in.
Tajuddin said the Latitud 8 project in Dang Wangi, Kuala Lumpur was granted to Intan Sekitar Sdn Bhd in 2012 through an open tender, long before he became Prasarana chairperson.
Intan Sekitar Sdn Bhd, which is 51 percent owned by public-listed Crest Builder Holdings Berhad, is 49 percent owned by Detik Utuh Sdn Bhd.
Tajuddin’s family has a 40 percent stake in Detik Utuh Sdn Bhd through Tindakan Juara Sdn Bhd giving them an effective holding of 19.6 percent in the project.
The company had come into the spotlight following reports that the Prasarana board was considering terminating the project by paying RM80 million to Intan Sekitar.
Last month, MACC chief Azam Baki said that the anti-graft body had completed an investigation related to a possible abuse of power case in Prasarana with its investigation papers submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).
Azam had said MACC was still waiting for instructions from the Attorney-General.
The MACC had reportedly visited the Prasarana office in January in connection with the investigation into Tajuddin, who allegedly tried to use his capacity as chairman to make significant changes in the company.
Tajuddin has been widely criticised for his unprofessional and seemingly insensitive manner in fielding reporters’ questions on Monday’s LRT crash that left 213 injured near the KLCC station.
He again came under fire for allegedly failing to observe the standard operating procedures under the Movement Control Order 3.0, by not wearing a face mask during his visit to the crash site, and later at the Prasarana press conference.
An online petition calling for his resignation was initiated the same day, gaining more than 50,000 signatures from netizens who blamed him for being incompetent as the Prasarana chairman.
It is learnt that the petition played an important role in the Ministry of Finance’s decision to terminate Tajuddin’s chairmanship at Prasarana with immediate effect on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, Tajuddin’s troubles did not end there and he now faces investigations over alleged SOP breache and is expected to be charged over two abuse of power for gratification claims soon.