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KOTA KINABALU, Oct 20: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) last night arrested Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal as part of their investigation into the alleged embezzlement of RM1.5 billion in rural development funds, reported The Malay Mail.
The former UMNO vice-president, who turns 60 today, was detained by graft investigators after three-and-a-half hours of interrogation at the MACC office headquarters here.
He had arrived at the MACC office at 5.20pm to give his statement upon returning from Kuala Lumpur after being summoned by the anti-corruption body the previous night. He was the former Rural and Regional Development Ministry from 2009 to 2015.
He is expected to be remanded in court today.
Before leaving for the meeting, Shafie told reporters at his home here that he would cooperate and give his full support to the MACC investigation.
He also said he was ‘saddened’ and ‘appalled’ by the arrest of his younger brothers Lahad Datu assemblyman from UMNO Datuk Yusof Apdal and Hamid Apdal, adding ‘it has gone overboard’ and was ‘below the belt’.
When asked whether he thought the arrests and investigation was politically motivated, he said it was too soon to speculate but alluded that it was possible as the general election is coming soon.
Shafie was sacked from the federal cabinet in 2015 following his criticism of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad investment firm and soon after started Warisan in Sabah with the aim of toppling the state government.
Shafie’s arrest comes on the heels of ten arrests in relation to the graft investigation which is said to be focused on some 70 infrastructure projects in rural Sabah.
Aside from his brothers, the other eight who have been arrested are Warisan vice-president Datuk Peter Anthony, a Sabah-based construction company owner, a former deputy secretary from the ministry, Warisan Youth chief Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman, Tenom Umno Youth chief Jamawi Jaafar, and Tawau Umno Youth chief Ariffin Kassim, Hamid’s 37-year-old son-in-law Manzur Hussein Awal Khan and Warisan Putatan division secretary Amarjit Singh.
All but Yusof and Amarjit have been released on bail.