Sanusi: MACC yet to visit me over rare earth probeROSHILA MURNI ROSLI
ALOR SETAR - Caretaker Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor is yet to receive a visit by officials from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in relation to an investigation into the theft of rare earth elements (REE) in the state.
Sanusi said he found out about the investigation through statements made in the press.
"I just read the statement. It seems like the newspaper has preceded the (investigation) process. I am surprised how the headline (story) came out.
"I think there is a big plot being planned to tarnish my image, that I am a troubled person, investigated by various agencies," he said on Wednesday when met at a state-level Maal Hijrah celebration.
He said one of the things that his detractors "brainstormed" was to try linking any purported wrongdoing in Kedah to the REE issue.
"The problem with the REE issue is theft; if I knew who the thief was, I would have certainly arrested him. How would we know who the perpetrator behind is when it's theft?" he said.
Clarifying on the letter of support to bring workers from China here that was signed by him, Sanusi said there had been a joint venture between Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI) and Prospek Suria to extract REE.
"This has been initiated even before I became the Menteri Besar; we just continued it. After the company was issued a licence, they wanted to bring in their experts to start the process.
"Given the Covid-19 pandemic at the time, the Malaysian and Chinese borders were closed. So to ensure that their experts can move around, they need the letter of recommendation from us," he said.
Sanusi added that there should not be an issue as he only provided a support letter addressed to the Home Ministry.
"The decision (to allow the experts in) was made by the Home Ministry, not me. The ministry was the one who decided who could or could not enter," said Sanusi.
On Sunday, a letter of support dated Aug 3, 2020, that was signed by Sanusi to apply for the entry of workers from China for work at the REE site was circulated on social media.
On Tuesday, the MACC launched an investigation regarding irregularities and abuse of power involving an unnamed Mentri Besar in the REE issue.
According to sources, the mining activities are believed to be carried out illegally, causing losses to the state government.