THEY were supposed to execute projects and programmes that would benefit millions of people, including the hardcore poor, but instead, they worked with a number of companies, at least 10 so far, to line their own pockets.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had been on the case for more than a year, but had been hampered
by their slick operations in which they left hardly any paper trail, and covered each other’s backs.
However, the culprits forgot about the effectiveness of Bank Negara Malaysia’s Suspicious Transaction Report alert system, which was triggered by movements of significant amounts of monies in accounts traced to the suspects.
Sources told the New Straits Times that the scope, breadth and enormity of this case would put other major corruption scandals to shame.
“We are talking about massive amounts of leakages of government funds,” a source said.
In siphoning off massive allocations meant to improve public welfare and local infrastructure, this group of senior officials at a ministry had allegedly worked hand in glove with the companies to declare on paper that the projects they were supposed to undertake had been completed, when in fact nothing had been done.
According to sources, these individuals would have easily pocketed some RM100 million.
“These involved tens of projects and initiatives that were supposed to be implemented to help the poor, including those that cost between RM500 million and RM1 billion.”
One of the initiatives that they had allegedly siphoned money off was the Poor Students’ Food Programme.
A source close to the ongoing probes into the case said MACC investigators had identified at least five ministry officers who were in cahoots with the companies to embezzle the funds.
“They have been doing it for a few years now and were siphoning funds off numerous projects that never materialised.
“Then, there are projects which were not carried out according to specifications.
“Cutbacks were done indiscriminately.”
“This case is not just about stealing from funds that were supposed to go to infrastructure development.
“Even the food programme for poor students was not spared,” one of the sources said.
It is learnt that MACC had identified up to 10 companies that had been working with the officers.
“This number could very well go up as investigations progress.
“It is understood that graftbusters are probing the case under the Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 and the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001.