SEPANG, Jan 8 — A former prime minister and his aides will be called in for questioning over ongoing probes into RM700 million spent for publicity purposes, graft busters said today.
Confirming the matter, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki however did not disclose when they will be summoned.
“As of now, what’s important is that we want to see how the money was spent and our query is not much on how they were approved,” he told reporters at the National Good Governance Symposium here.
When asked if it was the ninth prime minister, namely Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Azam merely said MACC would be summoning a “former PM and his aides”.
Last week, MACC confirmed that it is investigating RM700 million spent for publicity purposes under two previous federal administrations.
The investigation was based on the initial information the commission received following Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s statement in Parliament on November 7 last year.
Anwar told Parliament last year that between 2020 and 2022, some RM700 million was spent on advertising, promotions and publicity to highlight the achievements of the federal government.
He said most of it — some RM500 million — was spent by the eighth prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Muhyiddin’s successor, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, was said to have used close to RM200 million for the said purpose.
Muhyiddin served as the eighth prime minister for 17.5 months from March 2020 to August 16, 2021.
Ismail Sabri served as the ninth prime minister for 15 months from August 21, 2021, to November 24, 2022.