Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I have nothing to hide in the MACC investigations : Datuk Peter Anthony

A 41-year-old local businessman in Kota Kinabalu, has admitted that he is the ‘Datuk’ being quizzed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission but he denied the allegations made against him.

Datuk Peter Anthony, the managing director of Asli Jati Sdn Bhd, denied a newspaper report that he was on the run, saying he was in fact giving his full cooperation to the investigators from MACC.

“I am a Datuk, I am 41 years old and the MACC had come to my office according to the news report that said that I was on the run. I am not on the run as reported,” he said.

“I was in Kuala Lumpur when they (MACC) came to my office (in Kota Kinabalu). My staff informed me and I asked them to give them whatever they needed,” he told a press conference in Kota Kinabalu on 3rd February 2012.

His company was reportedly under investigation over alleged false claims involving a RM43 million contract for mechanical and electrical maintenance work at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

Anthony disclosed that upon his return, he met with the MACC officers who came to his office on Thursday, 2nd February 2012 and Friday 3rd February 2012, and gave them his full cooperation.

He said MACC wanted a technical report on their contract from 2007-2010 which they were in the process of assisting.

“I have nothing to hide as I want to clear my name and that of my company,” he said in reference to a news report on Thursday, 2nd February 2012, which stated that a department director at UMS was also investigated.

Describing the allegations as just rumours, Anthony said it was meant to smear his image as one of the leaders in KDM Malaysia, an NGO entity that strongly supports the Barisan Nasional (BN).

He also clarified that he was just an ordinary member of Umno and not an Umno division deputy chief.

“I do not hold any position in Umno,” he said, adding that his position as the vice president of KDM Malaysia is not in any way connected to Umno.

Anthony said his company had been sincere with all the works carried out in the university, stressing that everything was according to the law and procedures set by the UMS.

“The contract between the company and UMS is a contract that has been agreed upon by both entities. In fact, before the contract was formalised, the university had the rights to scrutinise any mistake or problems in the contract before it was handed over to the company to be sealed,” he said.

Anthony said that from the allegations, it was about changing the bill of quantity and not the price being jacked up or contract worth that had been set by the government.

“We adhere to the project worth set by the Government and (it) has not been changed. Because the contract is a lump-sum basis, the amount should not be more than what has been decided by the Ministry of Finance. Besides, in the contract, there is arbitration that each contract between UMS and Asli Jati is a valid contract,” he said.

Anthony said that any deficiency or excess would be valued at the end of the contract in July, and if there is any extra, the university or the company would return it.

“So, there is no such thing as we have misappropriated government’s money.

“This is not the first time such allegation was made. It had happened three times before. To me the allegations are only rumours. If my company has committed wrongdoing, I would be fully responsible for it,” he said.

Meanwhile, UMS vice-chancellor Datuk Kamaruzaman Ampon has dismissed as false the news reports that MACC officers raided the UMS campus.

He had instructed the UMS internal audit division to seek MACC’s services to conduct the probe after suspecting abuse of authority and corruption in the administrative management, he said in a statement.

After several series of auditing and investigation, the university’s Internal Audit Division discovered a few suspicious administration management which involved abuse of power and corruption.

In line with the government’s effort to curb corruption, the UMS Vice Chancellor Professor Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Kamaruzaman Ampon has directed for the case to be reported to MACC for further investigation.

“The media report stating that UMS was ambushed by MACC officers was untrue as the case was referred to the department for investigation,” he said, adding that it was part of UMS’ effort to empower its integrity to combat power abuse and corruption.

MACC yesterday confirmed that an investigation is being conducted into allegations of false claims.

Sabah MACC director Jalil Jaafar said the investigation is being handled by the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya.

“Sabah MACC has nothing to do with the probe,” he said.

Source : The Borneo Post Online

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