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Shafie family at centre of MACC probe

KOTA KINABALU: The politically influential family of Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal is being dragged into a massive probe into the skimming of some RM1.5bil from federal rural projects for the poor.
The probe centres on the implementation of projects between 2009 and 2015 by the Rural and Regional Development Ministry during the watch of Shafie, who was then its minister.
Shafie is now Parti Warisan Sabah president.
The latest development is the arrest of Shafie’s younger brother Hamid, 10 hours after he turned up at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) Sabah office yesterday as the investigation opened up more questions.
Hamid turned up voluntarily at the Sabah MACC head office after MACC personnel failed to locate him at his house in Taman Bersatu in Putatan near here Monday night.
Prior to his arrest at 9.30pm, five MACC officers accompanied him to his house in Putatan where a through search was carried out for three hours in the afternoon.
It is learned that they had taken several files but MACC officials declined to comment.
Hamid is the latest of Shafie’s key allies, including his nephew Warisan youth chief Datuk Azis Jamman, 43, and Warisan vice-president Datuk Peter Anthony, 46, who have been arrested and are under remand.
Sources said that other family members who might have links to the projects directly or indirectly might also be called in to give their statements in the probe that is also seeing some individuals within Sabah Barisan parties dragged in.
Sabah Umno youth leaders – Tenom youth chief Jamawi Jaafar, 43 (a former political aide to Shafie) and Tawau youth chief Ariffin Kassim, 44 – have also been arrested while a Barisan component party Senator gave his statement on Monday.
The sources did not rule out the possibility of at least two Sabah assemblymen from the east coast and another Barisan component party leader (a former Senator) being called in to give their statements.
The probe on the alleged skimming of funds through a network of at least 60 companies given some 350 rural water, electricity and road projects in Sabah, began last week with the arrests of Anthony, a 52-year-old businessman here and a civil servant with the ministry in Putrajaya on Thursday.
Yu Sin Kong, also a businessman in Kota Kinabalu, was also remanded together with Anthony on Friday.
MACC has so far frozen some RM170mil in bank accounts and assets in some of the companies involved in the projects.
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