ACA urged to probe RM10mil spending

Kuala Lumpur (Nov 20, 2008): A REPORT has been lodged with the Sabah Anti-Corruption Agency over the RM10mil allegedly spent by Barisan Nasional MPs for open houses and celebrations in their respective constituencies during festive seasons last year.

Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun (SAPP – Sepanggar) said he had called Sabah ACA to investigate the matter.

“I might have attended some functions last year, which I did not know where the funding came from,” he said in a press statement yesterday.

He added that he would write a full report for the Prime Minister.

It was reported on Wednesday that 10 Barisan MPs had spent almost RM10mil of their special parliamentary allocation.

The Tenom constituency recorded the highest average per function at RM17,042 and the lowest was in Kuala Terengganu at RM3,018.

The 10 constituencies, which spent as much as RM900,000 each, were Tenom with 58 events followed by Dungun (87), Putatan (86), Tawau (66), Silam (40), Kuala Nerus (248), Sepanggar (54), Kuala Terengganu (304), Parit (137 ) and Marang (186).

Tan Kok Wai (DAP – Cheras) had asked the Prime Minister to state the cost and number of open houses organised by MPs during festive seasons such as Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Gawai Dayak, Christmas, Good Friday, Wesak and for Merdeka celebrations.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum had replied that 196 Barisan MPs had spent the special allocation on food, drinks, rental of tents and equipment, donations to the poor, orphans, the disabled and other related services.

Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (SAPP – Tawau) has clarified that she was not the MP last year. It was Shim Paw Fatt. Datuk Dr Marcus Makin Mojigoh (BN – Putatan) denied spending that much: “I am not aware of the allocation.”

He said he would verify the report with Mohd Johari, which he described as “disputable, ridiculous and stupid.” The second-term MP said the maximum he spent last year for festive seasons was less than RM100,000.

“I donated two cows and some kuih-muih for the police and the army respectively on Hari Raya Aidilfitri but the maximum spending was definitely less than RM20,000,” he said.

He said the public could lodge report with the police and the ACA for further investigation over the matter.

Datuk Razali Ismail (BN – Kuala Terengganu), who is the Deputy Education Minister, said it was not true that the money was spent solely on celebrations, saying every MP was given a RM1mil allocation for small projects, activities and donation for the poor.

“I had a lot of functions last year and sometimes we need that kind of money when we need to fix leaky roofs, helping the needy or stuff like that,” he said.

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