Former Malaysian minister's top aide probed

Former Malaysian minister's top aide probed

PETALING JAYA - A former minister's political secretary is being investigated for alleged misappropriation of funds from the 1Azam welfare programme for the poor.

Sources said the 54-year-old Datuk was detained on Friday at about 5pm in Putrajaya, and taken to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters for questioning.

MACC director of investigations Datuk Mustafar Ali confirmed the arrest and investigations related to 1Azam which is under the Woman, Family and Community Develop-ment Ministry.

"The man was released around 10am today (yesterday) but investigations are still ongoing," he said.

Mustafar declined to give details, saying his officers were still probing the case.

It is learnt that the MACC had seized 10 luxury vehicles belonging to the man, including a Toyota Alphard, Toyota Vellfire, Toyota Camry and Golf GTI.

The 1Azam programme is a government initiative introduced in January 2010 to provide employment opportunities to the hardcore poor in the business, service and agriculture sectors.

According to news reports, the welfare department has spent RM1.35bil (S$5.2 million) so far to provide aid to 473,928 people nationwide under the programme.

The Datuk is said to be active in social welfare work and had served one term as a state assemblyman.

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