1 Warisan, 2 Umno Youth Leaders Remanded in Probe of Rural Project Funds

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Parti Warisan Sabah Youth chief, Azis Jamman, Tenom Umno Youth chief Jamawi Jaafar and Tawau Umno Youth chief Ariffin Kassim have been remanded for five days in the ongoing graft probe involving RM1.5bil meant for rural development projects in Sabah. 

The three were remanded yesterday to assist in investigations into misappropriation of RM180 million of RM1.5 billion, which was part of federal government allocations totalling RM7.5 billion for the rural and regional development ministry to implement rural projects in Sabah.

The water, electricity and road infrastructure development projects were planned to be carried out between 2010 and 2015 in Kota Kinabalu, Kudat, Kota Belud, Ranau, Beaufort, Keningau, Lahad Datu, Tawau and Sandakan.

It was earlier reported that 350 projects under the ministry and 60 companies were being scrutinised by the MACC.

The trio, who were detained on Monday are among six individuals being held to assist in the probe.

The magistrate also extended the remand on Warisan Vice President Peter Anthony and businessman Yu Sing Kong who were earlier held for five days, for another three and four days respectively.

The five men were brought to the Kota Kinabalu court complex at about noon, where hundreds of supporters had been waiting as early as 8.30am.

The supporters clapped and cheered when Azis waved his handcuffed hands to them as he was being escorted to the magistrate’s chambers.

On Monday, Parti Warisan Sabah members expressed anger at anti-graft officers for taking Azis to an undisclosed location during an interrogation without their knowledge.

Azis’ lawyer Norazmi Alimat said that supporters had been waiting anxiously for his client since 10.30am and were only informed that he was no longer at the MACC Office when he went in to check six hours later.

“They should inform if they are bringing him anywhere. It’s not right that we do not know where he is; we have the right to know,” said Norazmi, adding that he was told that Azis had left with the investigation team about two or three hours earlier.

“It is ridiculous that the MACC could refuse to disclose the location of my client,” he said.

Warisan information chief Honorsius Bosuin said: “We are on the verge of panic now. How can they sneak him out after we have been waiting for six hours?

“What if something happens to him that is out of a normal investigation? We are worried about his safety.”

Azis had arrived at the MACC’s prevention office in Jalan Sulaman at 10.20am and was hugged by his wife, and about 30 party members and supporters before entering the premises.

Norazmi was with Azis for about 30 minutes before the actual interrogation and investigation began and he was asked to leave.

Azis, 42, is also a former Umno Semporna Youth chief, who left the party to join his uncle, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal in setting up Warisan.

Related report: Oct 6, Peter Anthony Remanded for Five Days