Malaysian former minister ready to face probe over Nepali workers’ scam
- Former deputy prime minister rejects all allegations
Jul 24, 2018-
Malaysia’s former Deputy Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Monday said he is ready to face Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation over allegations his family members profited from trafficking Nepali migrant workers.
Kuala Lumpur-based newspaper The Star quoted Dr Hamidi in a report published Monday. Speaking to reporters in the Parliament lobby,
he said, “I am ready to be investigated and show evidence that I was not involved or had abused my power or that any of my family members were involved.”
Kuala Lumpur reporters sought Dr Hamidi’s comments after a Kathmandu-based newspaper published a report alleging high-ranking Nepali politicians, bureaucrats, businesspersons and former Malaysian officials along with their family members were involved in looting more than RM185 million (Rs 5 billion), over the past five years, from vulnerable Nepali migrant workers seeking work in Malaysia.
The report stated that Dr Hamidi, who was also the Home Minister then, had outsourced a private company, Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd, which required Nepali migrant workers to apply for work visas through a Kathmandu-based affiliate, Malaysia VLN Nepal.
This included making it mandatory for all Nepali migrants to undergo a biometric health-screening test via Bestinet Sdn Bhd, a company run by Dr Hamidi’s brother-in-law Amin Abdul Nor.
Nepal government has closed these dubious agencies. Prior to the shutdown of these agencies, migrant workers were compelled to pay an additional Rs18,480 for MiGRAMS, biometric medical test, and services of One Stop Centre (OSC) operated by Malaysia VLN Nepal Pvt Ltd for visa processing, and Immigration Security Clearance (ISC), conducted by GSG Services Nepal.
The Nepali newspaper report claimed Dr Ahmad Zahid’s brother Abdul Hakim Hamidi and former Natural Resources and Environment Minister Tan Sri Azmi Khalid owned shares in Bestinet.
Asked by The Star on his family’s links with Bestinet, Dr Hamidi said none of his sisters or family members was involved. “I am not involved and it’s not mine. It belongs to a Bangladeshi,” he claimed.
He denied having a brother-in-law named Amin or having any shares in Bestinet, and said the company had been in business before he assumed the post of Home Minister. He said he was not afraid of investigation by the MACC.
Published: 24-07-2018 08:12