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MACC investigating FAM over national training centre
Published on: Thursday, April 25, 2024
By: FMT
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MACC investigating FAM over national training centre
MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki also confirmed that the investigation into the littoral combat ship project is ongoing. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is investigating the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) following a poison-pen letter which contained numerous allegations against the national football body.

Last month, a poison-pen letter accused FAM of fraud, abuse of power, mismanaging funds, discrepancies in salaries and benefits, issues with the Harimau Malaya squad, and the lack of transparency in the tender process for the national training centre (NTC) in Putrajaya.

On April 4, youth and sports minister Hannah Yeoh said she believed MACC will do its best to look at “all the issues raised”.

However, MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki said today the agency is only investigating matters related to the national training centre and will not look into allegations about FAM’s administration.

“We consider this case as one that involves public interest. We’ve looked at the information provided and we’re only focussing on one issue – the NTC’s construction.

“The RM25 million funding was actually from Fifa. It’s not FAM’s funds. FAM only conducted the procurement (for a contractor) through a tendering process. The results of this process were submitted to Fifa for their approval, and Fifa agreed with the related company.

“If there is no case in two weeks’ time, we will say there is no case. If there is a case, we will propose charges,” Berita Harian quoted him as telling reporters in Gua Musang, Kelantan.

FAM president Hamidin Amin previously dismissed the poison-pen letter as “defamatory”, and said the association was considering lodging a police report.

LCS probe ongoing, says Azam

On a separate matter, Azam said MACC’s investigation into the construction of the littoral combat ship (LCS) project is ongoing. He said the agency is collecting information from sources overseas.

“I deny the allegation that the investigation has been stopped as it is still active and ongoing. MACC is also making an application for mutual legal assistance through the Attorney-General’s Chambers for some (documents and evidence) that we need,” he said.

He said some aspects of the investigation, such as tracing money, took a long time but the people involved in the case have been charged in court.

Azam said MACC will not interfere in LCS’s administrative matters, stressing that its investigation is guided and focussed on the abuse of power and malpractice in the project.

The LCS project, said to be the largest defence procurement in Malaysia’s history with a total cost of RM9 billion, came under intense scrutiny in 2022 after the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) revealed that not even one of the six ships had been completed, although Putrajaya had already paid RM6.08 billion.

The cost was revised from the initial RM9 billion to RM11.2 billion last May, with the navy also set to receive five units instead of the original six.

On Feb 29, PAC revealed that the LCS project was facing a 86-day delay as of last December. Last month, defence minister Khaled Nordin said the project is expected to be back on schedule by June.

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