It has been two years since the embezzlement RM107 million from the Youth and Sports Ministry was uncovered by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)
The MACC apprehended a 56-year-old division secretary and seized assets worth about RM20 million, including 12 vehicles, designer handbags and expensive jewellery. The agency also took the step to freeze 69 bank accounts amounting to RM8.3 million.
Whilst attention is on more outrageous financial scandals, there has been virtually little information about this for the past two years.
The sports ministry employee, who was arrested with eight others, had managed to make payments to 14 companies for non-existent jobs.
The MACC had than revealed that initial investigation into the matter found the suspect had received at least RM20million in kickbacks from the fraud.
The money from the National Sports Council was channeled directly to the companies and to his 69 bank accounts.
He was also believed to have received other kickbacks from various companies in the form of houses, trust fund payments worth millions and supplementary credit cards.
A bill amounting to RM10million ringgit for the 2012 Hari Belia Negara event was also under scrutiny.
It was for supplies and services supposedly provided by an events management company for rental of tents, booths, stage, lighting and sound systems and performances by local entertainers and three K-pop groups – Dal Shabet, Teen Pop and U-KISS.
This was during the time the Ministry was helmed by Datuk Seri Dato` Ahmad Shabery bin Haji Cheek.
He was also reported to have withdrawn RM500,000 from one of his bank accounts a day before he was nabbed and used RM 200,000 to pay his credit card bills and sent RM40,000 to his son’s bank account in Australia.
The money embezzled could have been put to good use with worthwhile projects for the benefit of sports development and promotion in Malaysia.
When the question of the missing milions was raised by some just a couple of months ago, the then Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had this to say:
“Allegations against the Youth and Sports Ministry over the notion that it is missing RM100 million in funds would be dealt with severely once the Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 becomes law.”
He had contended that the issue of the missing RM100 million was grossly inaccurate in its amount and content.
It was in sharp contrast with what he said when the case first came to light. He had taken full responsibility at that time, and blamed procedural weaknesses and added that they had rectified the problem where no higher-level approvals were required for government payments.
While Malaysian can name many of those involved in the IMDB saga, the perpetrators of this crime are all still anonymous.
Isn’t it time for the MACC to also give conclusion to this scandal some priority?