PETALING JAYA (April 23, 2009) :
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today said the statements it had taken in its probe on former Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin over alleged corrupt links with quarry operations in the state did not provide a basis for prosecution.
It said in a statement that its legal and prosecution section took into account all testimonies and found no grounds to prosecute Mohamad Fairuz, and that the Attorney-General too was informed and concurred with the decision.
Newspapers had on Wednesday reported that Mohammad Fairus, 33, claimed to have been cleared of corruption and that he was told this by a MACC officer.
Mohammad Fairus who had been linked to an investigation into corruption related to quarry operations resigned as Deputy Chief Minister I on April 8.
He also quit as Penanti state assemblyman on April 16 saying he wanted to continue post-graduate studies.
The MACC statement said Mohammad Fairus' portfolio in the state government did not directly cover quarry operations, but noted that he was given the task of handling an investigation into the award of Lot 954 and 955 in Mukim 20 of Seberang Perai Tengah to an individual.
"Investigations found that Mohammad Fairus had asked for and received sponsorship from a quarry operator to attend a course in London, but this operator has no direct link to the investigation undertaken by him."
The MACC said Mohammad Fairus had attended the international course in London together with the Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy who was funded by the organiser and the Penang government.
"With regards to this, the MACC wants to draw the attention of all state governments, ministries and departments towards the need to adhere to procedures and guidelines in the procurement and receiving of contributions from sponsors," the MACC said.
The Commission will be send an officer to Penang to conduct a study to enhance the transparency and accountability through guidelines and procedures when receiving contributions from sponsors.
The MACC will suggest that the results of the study be applied in other states and in ministries.
This is in line with the duties and responsibilitites of the MACC as provided for under Section 7 of the MACC Act 2009, the statement said.
The Election Commission has been informed of a vacancy in Penanti but is only expected to make an announcement on Monday.