Thursday September 14, 2017
09:45 PM GMT+8

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — A witness told the Sessions Court today that payment for programmes organised by the Youth and Sports Department at state and district level was via Spending Authority Letter issued by the Youth and Sports Ministry’s finance division.

Youth and Sports director-general Datuk Hatipah Ibrahim said such letters would be delivered to the department before being handed to the non-governmental organisations and associations that had been appointed as organising partners in the sports programmes.

“For sports programmes that cost not more than RM30,000, the payment would be made by the department (state)’s support committee,” she said.

The 11th prosecution witness said this under cross-examination by counsel Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali who is representing Otman Arshad, 58.

The accused who is a former finance secretary in the Youth and Sports Ministry is facing 32 charges of abusing his position and submitting false claims involving RM38.4 million, four years ago.

“Sports programmes organised by the department are usually grassroots level such as district and state to find sports talent, while programmes organised by the Malaysian Sports Council (MSN) are national and international level involving high prestige sports,” she said.

Hatipah, 57, said the department and MSN were two different organisations but complemented each other in the ministry’s efforts to develop sports in the country.

Otman is accused of committing the offences at the MSN office in Bukit Jalil Sports Complex here, between Feb 28, 2012 and Nov 18, 2015.

On the 15 counts of abusing his position, Otman allegedly instructed MSN Finance Division director Abdul Rashid Yaakub to issue payment to Dial Ex Sdn Bhd, a company owned by his two children amounting to RM2,161,000 for various ministry programmes including Futsal 2012 and additional programmes for Formula One (F1) 2013.

The charges are framed under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, which carries maximum imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of not less that five times the amount involved or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

On the 17 counts of submitting false claims, Otman allegedly gave a letter of payment through the ministry’s account to MSN Finance Division director Abdul Rashid Yaakub for three companies owned by his friend amounting to RM36,310,400 related to various ministry programmes.

The charges framed under Section 18 of the MACC Act 2009 carries maximum imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of not less that five times the amount involved or RM10,000, whichever is higher, on conviction.

The prosecution was represented by deputy public prosecutor Amir Nasruddin.

The trial before judge Azura Alwi has been adjourned to Oct 9, 11 and 12. — Bernama

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