6 Most Shocking Things About The Multi-Million Ringgit Sabah Graft Case

Published by Nandini Balakrishnan

The lowdown on one of the largest corruption cases in MACC history.

  • 5 October served as a historical day for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as they uncovered one of the biggest corruption cases in Malaysian history involving two civil servants in Sabah

      • Db91Image via The Sun

        Azam (second from left) and other MACC officers with the seized items at the MACC office in Kota Kinabalu.

    • At a press conference in Kota Kinabalu yesterday, 5 October, MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner (operations) Azam Baki said that the the department made the seizure after they arrested two senior civil servants from the Sabah Water Department – a director and a deputy director of a government agency.

      “An MACC investigation led to the seizure of RM75 million from the offices, houses and bank accounts of the suspects (director and deputy director) and their families,” said Azam, as reported by Free Malaysia Today, yesterday, 5 October.


    • The 54-year-old director and 51-year-old deputy director were arrested under suspicion of having monopolised projects under the purview of their department and given them to their relatives.

      Azam said both officers had handled infrastructure construction projects valued at more than RM3.3 billion since 2010.


  • “In the 49 years since the commission was set up, we have never seen this amount of money. The thought that this involves government servants is very bad,” said MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki.

    • According to a report by The Malay Mail Online yesterday, 5 October, members of the media were seen to be shocked to see the large amounts of the seized items at the MACC office in Kota Kinabalu. says.com

  • Here are some of the biggest revelations from this multi-million ringgit graft case:

  • 1. The MACC has seized RM114.5 million so far. That amount does not include the five safety boxes that will be opened today.

      • E75aImage via NST

        Some of the cash confiscated by MACC.

    • A report by NST today, 6 October stated that the total amount of cash seized came up to RM114.5 million from the senior officers and several bank accounts.

      According to a report by Free Malaysia Today on 5 October, this is the breakdown of the cash that was seized from the senior officials:

      1) RM75 million seized from the offices, houses and bank accounts of the two officials.

      2) RM37 million frozen in the accounts of a company suspected to be linked to one of the two civil servants.

      3) RM2.5 million was seized from a bank safe deposit box owned by the deputy director.

      As for the unopened safety boxes, MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki said that they can only be unlocked with assistance from the banks.

      “Due to some regulations we have to comply with, we are not able to unlock the boxes immediately, but hopefully, we will be able to do so soon,” he added.


  • 2. RM53.7 million out of the RM75 million that was recovered was found in cold hard cash. It apparently took more than 30 MACC officers 13 hours to count the sum of money found.

      • Be3eImage via NST
    • The breakdown of the cold hard cash seized is as follows:

      1) RM45 million was seized from the director

      2) RM7.5 was seized from the deputy director

      3) RM1.18 million worth of foreign currencies were also recovered.

      The large amount of money was found stashed everywhere including the safes, cupboards, drawers, and car boots.


  • 3. Other items that were seized include expensive watches, jewellery, and 94 luxurious, high-end handbags

    • The Malay Mail Online reported on 5 October that some of the jewellery, including rings encrusted with precious stones, were still encased in velvet boxes.

      Some of the brands of handbags that were found are Gucci, Chanel, Burberry, Christian Dior, Bally, Fendi, Louis Vuitton and Hermes. It is believed that these were gifted to the wives of the senior officials.

      As for the luxury watches, Patek Philippe, Tag Heuer, Rolex, Cartier and Guess were just some of the brands that were seized.

      The authorities are currently checking the authenticity of the branded goods and jewellery to determine the value of the items.


  • 4. 127 land title grants worth millions of ringgit were also seized

    • It was reported that the land grants were found encased in folders.


  • 5. MACC has also seized nine vehicles from the senior officials which may amount up to RM3 million

    • The Star reported that eight of the vehicles seized are;

      BMW 535i (RM500,000)
      Mercedes-Benz C300 (RM308,000)
      Range Rover SE V8 (RM1.1 million)
      Mazda 6 (RM195,000)
      Volvo XC60 (RM270,000)
      Lexus ES (RM260,000)
      Audi A1 (RM180,000), and
      Ford Ranger (RM112,000).

      The brand of the ninth vehicle was not mentioned.


  • 6. The authorities have also arrested two more people related to this case – a 55-year-old Datuk who is a businessman believed to be the brother of the deputy and his company accountant

    • The Star reported that the four people will be remanded for seven days, starting today, 6 October.

      MACC also mentioned that they will not hesitate to extend the remand period if they cannot complete the investigations in seven days.

      “We are still working out the money trail, and it will take some time as it is a complex investigation,” said Azam, as reported by The Star.


  • In line with MACC’s investigation on the graft case, the Sabah government has informed that they will be offering their full support to the anti-corruption commission

      • 2678Image via Sabah Kini

        Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman

    • Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said he’ll let the authorities conduct their investigations without fear of favour.

      “The state government would also study the system and procedures on the tendering and awarding of projects in all departments to identify weaknesses or loopholes that provide opportunities for corruption and abuse of power,” he said in a statement here today.

      Musa also reminded those in the civil service to continue upholding integrity in their respective offices when discharging their duties and responsibilities.


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