Syed Saddiq to file police report over 'aide' asking for kickbacks

Modified 3 Jan 2019, 5:05 am

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman's officers will be lodging a police report over allegations that a man posing as a parliamentarian's aide was asking for kickbacks from school boards in Muar, Johor.

"I’ve asked my Muar office to lodge a police report so that the impersonator will be brought to justice," Syed Saddiq said in a statement today.

Earlier, a Chinese daily reported that a man claiming to be an aide to a lawmaker in Muar had requested kickbacks from the boards of directors in local schools for procurements funded via constituency allocations.

Muar is a northern district in Johor that houses three parliamentary seats, namely Bakri, Pagoh and Muar itself.

In an immediate response, an officer to Syed Saddiq denied that the aide referred to in the news worked for the minister, who is also Muar MP.

"We want to clarify that the said officer is not with Syed Saddiq’s office and has never been one at any given time," said the aide in a statement.

The daily later made an amendment to the news by stating, "After much investigation, (it is learnt that) the man who claimed to be the lawmaker's aide was, in fact, a contractor appointed by local authorities".

The report said several Chinese primary schools and secondary schools approached by the man were asked to sign documents that allowed him to receive a 30 percent kickback.

It was learned that several school representatives had signed similar documents.

The report also included a text message conversation between the man and a representative from a parent-teacher association (PIBG) as evidence.

In one case in December 2018, the man was said to have requested a 30 percent kickback from a procurement totalling RM20,000 to get new chairs, desks and other equipment for pupils.

The daily quoted a source claiming the man was being probed by the authorities.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching took to Facebook to urge the schools involved to lodge reports with the MACC.

"Be it the constituency allocation or the ministry's allocation, I would like to emphasise repeatedly that there has been no rebate and no kickback," she said yesterday.

"If someone were to request for any rebate or kickback, please contact me directly, we will lodge a report with the MACC together.

"Don't be scared and do not fear trouble. All of us have a responsibility to fight corruption," she added.

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