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Aide: Claims minister tried to clear pol sec under MACC probe do not arise
Published:  Jul 28, 2019 9:52 PM
Updated: 11:53 PM

Allegations that Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Liew Vui Keong is trying to clear the name of a political secretary being investigated by the MACC does not arise.

His private secretary Mohd Hanafiah Sahih Montoi said Liew's answer to the Dewan Negara about the MACC investigation against a political secretary over a luxury watch was only based on information but details of the case are classified and are awaiting action from the Attorney-General's Chambers.

"The issue of Liew trying to clear the name of the senior officer as claimed by (MCA president) Wee Ka Siong in a Facebook post on July 27 does not arise.

"I would like to advise that the case is still being considered by the public prosecutor.

"Therefore, the contents and information in the report (of the case) is classified in accordance to Section 29(4) of the MACC Act," he said in a statement today.

Ahmad Sabki Yusof, a political secretary to Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub, was in April arrested by MACC over a luxury watch gifted to him. 

Liew was asked for an update on the case in the Dewan Negara on July 25, during which the minister claimed he understood that the MACC had "cleared" (pelepasan) the political secretary after getting an explanation of where he got the money to buy the luxury watch.

This led to further confusion as it has been reported that the luxury watch was a gift.

Liew later said he was misquoted, claiming he did not say the watch was purchased despite the Hansard showing otherwise. 

Hanafiah, in his statement today, said the word "pelepasan" used by Liew had specific legal meaning.

"I would like to explain that the word 'pelepasan' has its own meaning in the legal context.

"For example, someone can be discharged not amounting to an acquittal (dilepaskan tanpa dibebaskan) by the court for an offence and it does not mean they have been cleared," he added.

Hanafiah said if Wee (above) was serious about combatting corruption, he should look into why MCA senators had voted against a motion compelling Dewan Negara members to declare their assets.

"Wee losing control of his MCA senators is an internal party affair but he should not point his finger at Liew to distract the public from the realities and challenges he is facing in leading his party.

"The relevance of a party should not be built on cheap publicity but based on the party's members determination in carrying out the people's mandate," he said.

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