KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 9): The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) probe into the alleged misappropriation of Covid-19 stimulus funds will focus on the RM92.5 billion directly funded by the government.
Initial investigation into the breakdown of Covid-19 stimulus package funds received from the Ministry of Finance (MOF) found that the allocated funds totalled RM530 billion, according to a statement from the MACC on Friday (Dec 9).
"Based on that sum (RM530 billion), RM92.5 billion involved government funds, while RM437.5 billion was not from the government. Hence, the focus of the MACC's investigation will be on the RM92.5 billion," the MACC said.
The MACC further noted that the MOF is detailing the breakdown of the RM92.5 billion, and will submit that to the commission by next week.
The allegation of misuse of public funds was raised by Malaysia's newly minted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Tuesday (Dec 6), when he said the MOF, which he also helms, had found a breach of procedure in the handling of RM600 billion public funds during Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's tenure as prime minister, but did not give any breakdown of what the figure involved.
The government announced a total of eight stimulus or assistance packages amounting to RM530 billion in 2020 and 2021. Other than direct fiscal injection, it included, among others, RM80 billion from Danajamin and various guarantee schemes, RM210 billion from loan moratoriums, and at least RM110 billion from various Employees Provident Fund withdrawal initiatives and contribution restructuring (as of March 2022).
Muhyiddin served as prime minister from March 2020 to August 2021. During his tenure, the finance minister (FM) was Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, who also served as the FM in Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob's Cabinet, when Ismail Sabri became prime minister after Muhyiddin was ousted with Barisan Nasional pulling its support for his government.
On Wednesday, the New Straits Times reported that the MACC would summon Muhyiddin, Zafrul, as well as former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin, to get their statements pertaining to the investigation. It also reported that the RM600 billion was meant for funds during the Covid-19 pandemic and included money for Covid-19 vaccines.
Zafrul, who is now part of Anwar's Cabinet as the minister of international trade and industry, said on Thursday (Dec 8) that the MACC had yet to contact him, and that he had nothing to hide and would fully cooperate if called up.
Muhyiddin, who heads the Perikatan Nasional coalition, now leads the Opposition after losing out to Anwar in forming the government after the 15th general election ended with a hung Parliament.