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Liew says 'misquoted', here is what the Hansard says
Published:  Jul 27, 2019 11:14 PM
Updated: 4:37 PM

De facto law minister Liew Vui Keong claims to have been misquoted over the luxury watch corruption case involving Agriculture Minister Salahuddin Ayub's political secretary.

Speaking to FMT, Liew said he had never told the Senate that Ahmad Sabki Yusof had bought the watch.

"(I have) been misquoted. I did not say anything about (whether) he purchased the thing (the watch).

"What I said was that he (Ahmad Sabki) has already explained what had happened and that he declared his interests. That is why the MACC freed him," he was quoted as saying by the portal.

He also said that what he said can be checked in the Dewan Negara's Hansard.

Here is what the Hansard recorded Liew as saying.

Page 25 Paragraph 8 Line 4-7 (translated): "I am not sure what the full status of these two officers' (Sabki and Mohamad Sabu's aide) cases are, but I have been informed that on one case, the MACC had released that person as he was able to explain where he got the funds to buy a watch."

[Original: "Saya tidak dapat pastikan kedudukan yang sepenuhnya mengenai kes dua orang pegawai itu tetapi saya telah pun difahamkan mengenai satu kes itu, pihak SPRM telah pun buat pelepasan kepada beliau kerana beliau dapat menjelaskan di mana beliau dapatkan kewangan itu untuk membeli satu jam tangan."]

The Hansard also records Liew as telling BN Senator Ibrahim Shah Abu Shah that he (Ibrahim) could bring the matter to MACC's operations review panel if he was not satisfied with the MACC's decision not to investigate the case further.

A leaked letter Sabki sent to the Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) on May 2 this year has him admitting that he received the luxury watch as a gift.

The MACC also said that the case's investigation paper was now with the Attorney-General's Chambers for a review.

Erroneous remarks in Parliament are a serious matter. In the Dewan Rakyat, statements that are deemed to have misled the Lower House are considered contempt and can be grounds for disciplinary action.

The Senate, though, does not have a similar rule in its Standing Orders. However, there is a privileges committee which oversees matters that might affect the powers and privileges of the Upper House.

MCA president Wee Ka Siong has called on Liew to explain his remarks or resign.

Sabki was detained by the MACC on April 1 on suspicion of accepting the luxury watch but released him four days later. He was investigated under Section 16 (a) of the MACC Act.

Salahuddin had also denied the existence of development projects which led MACC to probe his aide.

In the leaked letter to GIACC chief Abu Kassim Mohamed, Sabki explained that he had actually declared the watch as a gift to the agriculture ministry's Integrity Unit a year earlier.

However, he said Integrity Unit made no decision on the matter and his declaration was instead used to accuse him of corruption which he denies.

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