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Azalina Under Probe

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KUALA LUMPUR: Three MACC officials stayed at tourism minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said's office for two hours Wednesday, and took away two documents for investigation on money politics in UMNO's party elections.

The MACC officials also questioned two senior officials at Azalina's office.

MACC officials arrived at the ministry of tourism office located at Menara UMNO at about 10.00 a.m. Wednesday. After talking with two officials from the ministry, the MACC officials requested to see some documents and asked if they could take the documents away. They were allowed to take away the documents by ministry officials.

A senior official at Azalina's office said MACC enforcers did not conduct any form of search at the office.

Azalina was not at her office when the MACC officials arrived.

It has been understood that the MACC officials were conducting investigations on Azalina's meeting with some UMNO party members at Saloma, Jalan Ampang last week.

Prior to this, a political secretary of a minister had been detained by MACC enforcers after RM70,000 cash was found in his car, and the political secretary was among those present at the gathering.

The 44-year-old political secretary was released after being interrogated by MACC officials for six hours.

One of Azalina's officials denied that the visit by MACC enforcers was related to the RM70,000 cash incident.

However, information sources said two of the MACC officials also visited the office of the ministry's finance department to check out certain specific documents before leaving the ministry.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the tourism ministry said in a statement that the ministry would offer full cooperation to the MACC in this matter.

The statement said the ministry was sufficiently confident they would be proven innocent after investigations have been conducted.

An UMNO insider said some of the people allegedly meeting the tourism minister were UMNO divisional delegates.

"According to the party charter, if the state liaison committee intends to organise such gatherings, approval must first be obtained from the party."

The UMNO insider pointed out that the gathering became suspicious for no prior approval had been obtained, and the MACC was therefore requested to launch investigations on whether money politics had been involved in the gathering.

Meanwhile, MACC refused to issue any statement on the investigations when contacted later the day. (Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily)

MySinchew 2009.03.12



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