Department was allocated billion$: Ex-official
Published on: Wednesday, May 18, 2022
By: Jo Ann Mool
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Kota Kinabalu: The State Water Department received over RM4billion in allocations for the 10 year period between 2006 and 2016, excluding additional allocations also running into billions of ringgit,  the  Special Corruption Court heard, Tuesday.

From 2006 until the 2016, the State’s Supply estimates totalled RM201.7 billion while the records showed that during the same period the allocation approved to the Water Department amounted to RM4.132 billion, said the prosecution’s 19th witness, Datuk Kaim Kalimin, 62, a former Permanent Secretary in the State Finance Ministry.

Kaim testified that the Department’s Director is responsible for managing allocation under the annual Revenue and Expenditure Estimates Book.

When referred to the Revenue and Expenditure Estimates Books for year 2006-2016, Kaim verified they were the actual books that were passed in the State Legislative Assembly.

He also said there was a difference between the estimates books made before 2008 and afterwards due to a change in the formats used.

Before 2008, the estimates book did not use the Modified Budget System (MBS), whereby the details were not specifically put down.

As for allocations from Federal, the warrant or letter of authority would be given directly to the department. 

“It does not require going through the State Finance Ministry. The payment will be processed by the Ministry that issued the allocation itself or the Accountant-General Office.

“As for state allocations, the Water Department itself would be processing the payment for the State Treasury Department action,” said Kaim in his witness statement.

Based on the records of the general allocation warrant first supplementary supply statement, the total additional allocation given to the State Water Department was about RM1.480 billion from 2006 to 2016.

In the same period, the total overall supplementary allocation approved amounted to about RM5.487 billion. 

From 2006 until the 2016, the State’s Supply estimates totalled RM201.7 billion while the records also showed that during the same period the allocation approved to the Water Department amounted to RM4.132 billion.

Kaim verified that the warrants for the State Supply estimate from 2006 to 2016 were signed by then Chief Minister cum Finance Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman.

Kaim was posted to the State Finance Ministry in 2005 as a Junior Administrative Officer before being promoted to Principal Assistant Secretary (Supply) in 2008 and later as the Budget Under Secretary in the Budget Division in 2010.

Kaim also verified all the documents which later tendered as exhibits by the prosecution.

Meanwhile, wife of former Sabah Water Department Director Ag Mohd Tahir had a savings account and shares worth RM84,658.84 in Bank Rakyat.

Salinah Lamat, an assistant branch manager of Bank Rakyat, Kota Kinabalu Branch, certified that the balance of the saving account of Fauziah Piut as of Nov. 8, 2016 was RM49,974.84.

Salinah during examination-in-chief before Judge Abu Bakar on Tuesday said the account was frozen starting Oct 4, 2019.

She said the balance of Fauziah’s shares account was RM34,684 as of Nov 8, 2016 and that Fauziah had purchased the shares on Sept 17, 2004.

The shares account was frozen under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFUA) 2001 dated Oct 4, 2016.

When referred to a document – AMLATFUA 2001 (Order under Subsection 50(1) dated Nov 4, 2016, Salinah certified that it was from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) addressed to Bank Rakyat Berhad on Fauziah’s two accounts.

Fauziah, 55, was tried together with her husband Ag Mohd Tahir, 58, and Lim Lam Beng, 66, who had on Dec 29, 2016 pleaded not guilty to 37 counts of money laundering, involving RM61.57 million.

Asked by Fauziah’s counsel during cross-examination whether she had an authorisation letter, as according to the counsel an investigation into AMLA offence for a bank account required a written authorisation by the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP), Salinah said she did not know.

However, during re-examination, she said the letter was not with her now. 

“On the day of the incident, the MACC did have a letter of authority when they came to our office and the letter was forwarded to the headquarters. We then issued them (the documents) when headquarters said okay. I am just certifying, said Salinah, adding that she did not know where the letter is now.

During cross-examination, Salinah disagreed with the counsel’s suggestion that it was impossible for both accounts to be involved in money laundering activities because they were under the threshold limit of RM50,000.

Salinah said if one wanted to do evil things, it is not necessarily a large amount.

During cross-examination, Salinah disagreed with the counsel’s suggestion that her statement on the status of Fauziah’s two accounts dated Nov 8, 2016, without permission or a letter from the DPP was her negligence.

Salinah explained during re-examination that there was an authorisation letter from the MACC.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Mahadi Abdul Jumaat and Haresh Prakash Somiah appeared for the prosecution.

Ag Mohd Tahir and Fauziah were represented by counsel Marcel Jude, while Lim was represented by counsel Datuk Tan Hock Chuan, Aaron Lau, Baldev Singh and Karpaljit Singh.

Trial continues.

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