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Shafie must explain, says Umno
Published on: Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Parti Warisan President Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal again came under pressure by Sabah Umno to clear the air over his role, if any, in an alleged attempt to sell Sabahans' stake in Yayasan Sabah more than 20 years ago and which was widely reported in the media then, including the Daily Express.Sabah Umno Zone 6 Chairman Datuk Ainal Fattah said with the 14th General Election looming and Shafie asking Sabahans to vote for Warisan so that he could be made Chief Minister, it is important for Sabahans to know the truth into what really happened that then Yayasan Sabah Director Tan Sri Musa Aman even had a police report lodged against him under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) for saving Sabah through stopping the deal, besides a RM184 million suit.

"Until now, the people are still waiting for an answer from the former Umno vice president and federal minister," said the Semporna-born lawyer in a statement.

Ainal said even though 22 years had passed and the issue being raised recently, he was puzzled why Shafie, who was then Chairman of a public listed company and Sabah Umno Youth Chief, continued to remain silent about the allegations that he attempted to place the shares and equities of Innoprise Corporation Sdn Bhd (ICSB), a subsidiary of Sabah Foundation, in a public listed company.

He said as Chairman of the public listed firm, Shafie must have known that such plan would involve masterminding the purchase of shares of a public listed company.

The controversy started when the public listed firm was said to have attempted to gain control over Sabah Softwoods Sdn Bhd (SSSB) and Rakyat Berjaya Sdn Bhd (RBSB) involving the selling of 60 per cent equities of ICSB, a subsidiary of Sabah Foundation.

According to Ainal, the proposed control over SSSB and RBSB would mean giving away 150,000 acres of precious Sabah Foundation land to certain individuals while the taking over of RBSB would mean surrendering 247,000 acres of its timber concession to the public listed firm.

"The whole purported deal was done in bad faith that put behind the interests and rights of Sabahans who were the beneficiaries of Sabah Foundation," Ainal said.

According to Ainal, fortunately for Sabah, the deal was blocked by Musa, who was then a member of the Sabah Foundation's board of trustees.

Another issue Shafie also has to contend with, he said, was the RM7.2 billion allegedly misappropriated from the funds of the Rural and Regional Development Ministry. He said even if Shafie should end up being cleared of blame, it was under his Ministry.

The Semporna MP was detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in October last year over alleged irregularities involving RM1.5 billion allocated to his ministry for rural development in Sabah.

He is currently on bail.

Ainal noted that both former Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh and Kalabakan and MP Datuk Abdul Ghapur said the Federal Government committed a wrong by not taking action against Shafie. Ghapur mentioned this in parliament while Harris said the Federal Government is obliged to replace the misappropriated billions to Sabah, if true.

Ghapur was also quoted saying that that the issue and Shafie's arrest, remand and release was widely covered by the media but that no action had been taken.

Ainal said then there were also scandals linked to GLC under his former ministry such as Mara Incorporated Sdn Bhd where the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission was investigating into a property scandal involving Mara Inc's purchase of real estates in Australia.

The MACC said that it would be calling up Shafie for questioning, if necessary, to assist in the investigation.

The case came to light when Australian newspaper "The Age" alleged that a high-ranking Mara official, a senior official and another person had overspent government funds in buying a block of apartments in Melbourne.

It was reported that the trio had overpaid by Australian Dollars $4.75 million (RM13.8 million) for the apartment block in 2013.

Another GLC that got into a mess under Shafie's watch, said Ainal, is Risda over a land deal worth RM155million in Tongod.

The project reportedly had to be abandoned as it involved native customary land but the agency was unable to get back the 10 per cent deposit, totalling some RM15mil, from a legal firm. The lawyer who handled the transaction also suddenly went missing.

Parti Warisan Sabah vice-president Datuk Peter Anthony was arrested to assist in MACC investigations into the case. Shafie, who was the Minister that oversaw Risda at the time, was called to give his statement over the issue.


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