There is mounting speculation of political intervention or selective prosecution in the delay in charging a former Umno political secretary arrested last Monday for misappropriating RM1.1 million from three foundations.

Sources say the former political aide and a director of one of the foundations were linked to investigations that money from the foundations was diverted for political purposes instead of being used to help the poor.

"This is an explosive investigation and just the tip of the iceberg. Some Umno people don't want to see this case go to court," a source told The Malaysian Insider.

He was referring to a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) statement last week, saying it had arrested two men, including a former political secretary with a datuk title, and were expected to charge them on Tuesday.

But hours later, the MACC said there had been a mistake and the men would be charged at an undetermined date. Both were released on RM50,000 bail.

"The power of prosecution lies with the Attorney General's Chambers and any MACC statement is only issued after they agree," another source said.

"MACC is ready but no one knows why there is a delay. It might happen this week but who knows," he added.

According to the MACC statement issued by Investigations Director Commissioner Datuk Mustafar Ali, the two men in their 30s and 50s were to be charged in the Sessions Court last Tuesday with criminal breach of trust amounting to some RM1.1 million and cheating involving RM1 million.

The ex-political secretary and director were arrested on January 27 morning and evening and released on bail ahead of their charges.

The three foundations involved in the case were set up in the 1980s and three years but were registered as limited companies and not as welfare bodies, it added.

The two were the directors and trustees of the foundations and MACC said the money was taken out against the foundations' objectives.

The statement said another director with a datuk title was also held for offences under the Companies Act in an investigation related to the foundation.

Several Putrajaya insiders say the Attorney General's Chambers must act quickly to dispel the impression of selective prosecution in high-profile cases, noting that former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik had brought up that complaint last month.

"People are watching the government. They must be fair and charge all, not just those outside Umno," said one insider.

It is understood that the case is related to the detention of Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim, the former political secretary to former women, family and community development minister Datuk Seri
Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (pic), who confirmed last September that he was detained for investigations by MACC.

Suhaimi had said that he was investigated for allegedly misappropriating funds meant for the poor under the 1Azam programme, adding that at least seven other ministry officials were called in.

"I have nothing to hide. Yes, I was arrested but the information which was published in blogs and online portals was not entirely true," he had said.

Reports stated that MACC seized 10 luxury vehicles from Suhaimi, but he denied that they belonged to him.

"Those vehicles are not mine," said the 54-year-old businessman.

"If there are questions about my wealth, my house, as mentioned in a blog, it was all through my hard work. I have been a businessman since 1995 and that was where the money came from," said Suhaimi, who was the former Benta state assemblyman in Pahang.

The 1Azam programme is a government initiative under the jurisdiction of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.

It was introduced in January 2010 to provide employment opportunities to the hardcore poor in the business, services and agriculture sectors.

The Welfare Department has spent RM1.35 billion so far to provide aid to 473,928 recipients nationwide.

Source: TheMalaysianInsider