Penang government has nothing to hide, welcomes MACC probe

pps-ditahan-polis-650x400The Penang government intends to disprove allegations of corruption pertaining its Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) with the investigations by Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC).

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said that the state had nothing to hide and welcomes MACC’s probe into allegations of corruption and abuse of state funds for the PPS.

Samarajoo Manikam, the state’s MACC director said last Tuesday that it was looking into a report by Pertubuhan Kebajikan Rakyat 1Malaysia (KRA1M) president Mohd Ibrahim A. Siahoo which asked MACC to investigate the legal assistance given by the State Government to PPS members who were arrested.

“Full co-operation will be given to MACC, where it shall be proven that any such expenditure follows government financial procedures. Penang state government has repeatedly been lauded by the yearly Auditor-General’s Report as amongst the best performing state in the country,” Lim said, reminding that the state has recorded surpluses and increased asset reserves by 50% from 2008 to RM 1.2 billion in 2013.

In his statement today, the Penang Chief Minister also repeated its previous announcement on its yearly spending for PPS, rubbishing claims by UMNO that RM 1.5 billion was used.  Lim revealed that from 2011 to 2013, RM 869,820, RM 1,363,827 and RM 1,592,482. 90 was spent respectively.

“This is not RM 1.5 billion as initially claimed by UMNO, which they quickly  ‘reversed gear’ and backed down when challenged to provide proof,” Lim Guan Eng said.

On 4 September, UMNO portal UMNO-online had quoted Penang Umno Chief Zainal Abidin Osman saying that the sum spent was RM 1.5 billion. However, the article has since been edited to show the figure of RM 1.5 million instead.

“The amount spent for 9,002 members is kept under control because they work voluntarily without pay with only clothing and walkie-talkies provided by the state government,” Lim said.

He added that the PPS role is limited to helping in emergencies and responding to the police’s call for community policing to fight crime.

“There were no problems with the police during the last four years,” he reminded.

Opposing the disbanding of the group, Lim said that the PPS should not be punished for a few ‘bad apples’ who had tarnished its name. Doing so would be akin to persecuting 120,000 police officers for the actions of some who had used C4 explosives to commit murder, or the incident where Norizan Salleh was the victim of tragic shooting by a policeman.

“Now BN has made PPS into a sensitive emotional issue because it is politically motivated, especially when the members now are multi-racial with 57% Chinese, 33% Malays and 10% Indians,” Lim added that the number of Malays would increase to 45 percent by the end of 2015 as a result of increasing Malay enrolment.

Lim Guan Eng reiterated the state government’s stand that it is lawful to form the PPS as a voluntary unit. He said that the state would abide by the court’s decision since the unit has now been disputed the IGP; even if the IGP had no issue with the group over the last four years. -The Rocket

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