March 11, 2009
KUALA LUMPUR: Two Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers spent an hour at the Tourism Minister’s office and took away two documents, as part of their investigations into money politics in the Umno elections.
They also interviewed two senior officials from Datuk Azalina Othman Said’s office.
According to sources, the MACC officers arrived at the ministry around 10am on Wednesday, and after interviewing the two officials, asked to see certain documents.
They then asked if they could take away the documents and the two officials readily agreed.
“There was no seizure of any sort,” said another senior official from Azalina’s office.
The minister was not in at the time of the “visit” by the MACC.
It is learnt that the MACC is investigating a gathering she had attended with some Umno members at the Saloma Bistro in Jalan Ampang here last week.
It was also after this same gathering that a political secretary of a minister was detained by the MACC after RM70,000 was found in his car. The 44-year-old man was released after six hours of questioning.
Azalina’s officials denied that Wednesday’s visit by the MACC had anything to do with the RM70,000 incident.
In a statement, the minister’s office said it would give its fullest co-operation to the MACC on the matter.
“We have the fullest confidence in the MACC and are equally confident that we will be cleared by their investigations,” the statement added.
Party insiders said there was a complaint lodged with the MACC over the gathering as some of those present were Umno delegates.
“Under party election rules, such a gathering must be a sanctioned one organised by the state liaison committee.
“Therefore, unorganised gatherings are viewed with suspicion and the MACC has been asked to determined if there was money politics involved at this gathering,” the insider said. The MACC declined to comment on this investigation.