Malaysia’s anti-graft body investigates $136B government budget misappropriation

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malaysia's anti graft body investigates $136b government budget misappropriation

The Anti-Corruption Commission of Malaysia said on Thursday that it has launched an inquiry into the suspected theft of 600 billion ringgit ($136.39 billion) in government monies.

The probe was initiated when the new prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, launched a review of billion-dollar government projects granted by his predecessor, Muhyyyddin Yassin, on the grounds that they did not adhere to established processes.

Muhyiddin, who served as prime minister for seventeen months between 2020 and 2021, has denied any misconduct and stated that he would welcome a probe.

The anti-corruption organization would not disclose anything about its most recent investigation or its targets, but urged the public to come forward with proof or information.

Anwar was chosen premier last month, creating a cabinet with competing blocs following a closely contested election with Muhyiddin that ended in a hung legislature.

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This week, Anwar ordered a study of Muhyiddin-era initiatives, including a plan for a state-owned 5G network and $1.59 billion worth of flood protection measures.

Corruption is a serious issue in Malaysia, with former prime leader Najib Razak being imprisoned this year for his role in a multibillion-dollar scam at state fund 1MDB.

Anwar’s deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, whose coalition is a crucial partner in the current administration, is also charged with hundreds of counts of corruption and money laundering. Ahmad Zahid has entered a not-guilty plea.

Tengku Zafrul Aziz, a former finance minister in the cabinet of Muhyiddin who handled government expenditures, stated on Twitter that he would completely assist with authorities if requested.

In a tweet, he declared, “There’s nothing to hide.” Tengku Zafrul was named foreign trade minister in Anwar’s government last week.

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