Mat Sabu to MACC: Probe Anyone in Mindef, Even in My Office

2754
- Advertisement - [resads_adspot id="2"]

No compromise, charge aide if there’s a case, says Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu.

  • The close friend of Mat Sabu was declared bankrupt several years ago
  • Had to clear personal debts before being made an aide
  • Sought loans from friends 
  • MACC investigating if those who helped settle debts did so with the intention to secure projects in return
  • Aide told to go on leave for now

Mohamad Sabu, better known as Mat Sabu, has welcomed investigations by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over recent graft allegations involving his aide.

“Just like my statement in Parliament on a previous probe by former Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, I welcome MACC to investigate anyone in the Defence Ministry, or even in my office,” he said briefly in a statement issued on Wednesday (Aug 15).

Mat Sabu said he is ready to give full commitment and cooperation to the MACC, as he vowed never to compromise on integrity related issues.

Bernama

“Should there be any cases (identified), MACC can charge the person involved according to the law,” he added.

Mat Sabu was responding to Malaysiakini‘s report yesterday that his aide was being investigated in connection with several parties settling the latter’s debts amounting to RM800,000.

Reportedly, the aide was declared bankrupt by the Insolvency Department about four years ago.

It was an obstacle that he has to clear and the only way was to clear the debts.

The aide approached “about a dozen” close friends to help him settle the personal debts and this was done a few days after Mat Sabu was sworn in as defence minister.

MACC is investigating whether the debts were settled with the intention to secure projects in return.

The commission has recorded statements from the aide and 10 others, including defence contractors and business representatives.

The aide, in his mid-40s, is said to be close to the Amanah president and was chosen from dozens of other close friends who were also vying for senior posts under the minister.

“He is loyal, and has been with Mat Sabu during thick and thin, including when Mat Sabu was in political wilderness after being sidelined from PAS and eventually exiting the party to form Amanah,” a source close to the Amanah leader told FMT.

The source said soon after Mat Sabu was named by Dr Mahathir Mohamad to helm the defence portfolio in May, he was deluged with requests and “pitching” from friends and party supporters to serve as his aides.

“But it was clear from the beginning that his choice would be this guy due to his dedication,” the source was quoted as saying, naming the person.

Apparently, Mat Sabu’s choice did not sit well with many of his close friends who are also gunning to be his aides.

“Many of these friends are so-called leftists who do not have a fixed income. They come from Amanah, from other component parties, as well as activists who need the financial stability,” the source was quoted as saying.

“Naturally, not everyone can be satisfied.”

According to the source, the revelation that MACC was investigating the aide was timed to coincide with his swearing-in this week, hoping to scuttle the appointment and eventually make the post vacant.

“Other allegations were thrown to lessen his chances, including accusing him of being a Shia,” the source was quoting as saying, adding that such attacks were “not strange” in the Mat Sabu camp.

Mat Sabu himself has been called a Shia by his detractors over his political sympathy for movements such as the Hizbullah.

FMT reported that the aide had provided the MACC with detailed documents of those who lent him the money, with every transaction specified.

“The monies were deposited in various amounts, from as little as RM10,000 to over RM100,000, totalling RM800,000,” the source told FMT, adding that it is highly unlikely that MACC would find elements of corruption in the whole affair.

“But the negative perception has already been created in Mat Sabu’s office, especially when he had assumed the post on the back of widespread public euphoria.”

In the latest development, the aide has been advised to go on leave pending the graft investigation.