Thursday, December 22, 2011

Awang Adek: My conscience is clear

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin has admitted that he received a cash contribution through his personal bank account, as alleged by a blogger.

However, he denied the cash contribution was a bribe, saying it was donated from various quarters for social programmes in Bachok, Kelantan, where he is the Umno division chief.

Awang Adek was responding to an allegation in a blog by one TheWhistleblower711 who claimed a Johor Umno division leader had been awarded a Public Works Department (PWD) contract as a result of cash payments to the deputy minister.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is reportedly investigating the allegation.

Awang Adek explained that as a concerned leader, he always conducted programmes to help the people in his division.

He said numerous individuals, many of them close friends and acquaintances, provided donations for the programmes.

"Both individuals and companies give donations for my programmes in Bachok. This has been happening since 2004," he told a Press conference at Parliament lobby yesterday.
‘RM100 a family for Raya’

“There are three bank accounts set up to receive donations, one of which is my personal account. All the money from these accounts are channelled towards funding the programmes in Bachok.

“I have a special officer who handles all the bank accounts. I have all the records, from whom the money came and for what purpose it was used. I even have the names of the recipients of the money.

“I will hand over all the details to the MACC.”

He said among the programmes he organised were Hari Raya donations and sponsoring English tuition classes.

“For Hari Raya, I give RM100 a family to 4,000 families in the division. I also sponsor English language tuition classes for 33 primary schools in Bachok which costs about RM80,000 a year. I also help the poor by sponsoring repair works for their houses.

“I don’t have much money to do all these, so I depend on public donations.

“Anyone can give donations, I accept them all unless it comes with vested interests.”

Asked about the Johor Umno division leader, who allegedly placed deposits to obtain a government contract, Awang Adek said the leader had been a longtime donor.

“I don’t have anything to do with contract-awarding as it is done at committee level. I’m not the approving authority. I’m just a deputy minister.

“I don’t give my donors anything. My conscience is clear.”

In his Nov 27 posting, “TheWhistleblower 711”, whose blog only started three days earlier, had claimed that “contributions” amounting to RM100,000 had been channelled to Awang Adek’s personal bank account in stages for the PWD contract that was approved in November 2010.

The blog had published scanned copies of cash deposit slips with serial numbers.

The anonymous blogger alleged the businessman would issue and cash out the cheques at a well-known bank.

Then a deposit, either a partial or full amount, would be put into the government officials’ personal accounts.

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