‘Media not giving Riot a fair shake in MACC probe’

Human Resources Minister Dato Sri Richard Riot Jaem

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KUCHING: The news reports of Human Resources Minister Dato Sri Dr Richard Riot cooperating with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to facilitate the probe into the embezzlement of RM40 million from Skills Development Fund Corporation have made it sound as if Riot is the culprit.

Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) which viewed the case from a very different perspective said the news has been blown out of proportion.

“The news reports has made it look as if Riot is the culprit in the misappropriation of the RM40 million instead, whereas the matter is still pending investigation by MACC,” said PBDSB in a statement yesterday.

PBDSB also told Democratic Action Party (DAP) not to be too quick to judge as the DAP secretay-general has been officially charged with two counts of corruption but also did not take leave.

“It is known officially that Riot’s aide who was remanded for six days to facilitate investigations, is being probed for corruption.

“But what right has DAP to demand Riot to take leave, while forgetting that their own DAP secretary-general (Lim Guan Eng, also Penang Chief Minister) is not only being probed but also officially charged with two counts of corruption and he is not even required to take any leave.

“Not only that, the DAP sec-gen doesn’t even dare to allow his corruption case to go for court hearing and rather prefer to delay the case by making a court challenge to declare parts of the MACC Act as unconstitutional.

“PBDSB feels that DAP should reflect upon itself before passing judgment on others or demanding others take leave,” said PBDSB.

PBDSB said there were other cases which were suspected to involve an even bigger amount of funds, yet there were no updates by the news media.

“There was even the case which involved the misappropriation of funds by the Youth and Sports Ministry, amounting to more than RM100 million. And yet there has been no update about the situation by any news media to date.

“We at PBDSB have always stressed our stand for the Dayaks’ cause and agenda, especially when it involves the Dayak in general.

“Regardless that Dato Sri (Dr.) Richard Riot is from SUPP and under the Sarawak BN coalition regime, but he is still a Dayak as an individual, an ex-PBDS member back in the day.

“PBDSB will not take any mockery when it is made towards a Dayak, especially when such mockery was made recently by a Malayan party towards a Dayak individual in Sarawak.

“PBDSB believes that Riot is innocent until officially proven guilty, and one should not be judged like a criminal when it is one’s aide being remanded by MACC for the misappropriation of funds.

“Whether Riot knew anything about his political secretary’s involvement in the misappropriation of the said RM40 million fraud or not, only time and investigations by MACC will show the result.

“We understand that MACC did not rule out the possibility of taking statements from other individuals as well, including officials from the Human Resources Ministry to assist in the investigation of the case,” said the statement.

On Sept 13, MACC also arrested four individuals in connection with the case and all four were remanded for six days from Sept 14 and later released on MACC bail.