Minor fire at Finance Ministry a wake-up call to step up security – extensively

THANKFULLY there was no casualties in the fire that broke out in the waste management store at the Finance Ministry’s (MOF) headquarters in Putrajaya on yesterday (Dec 6) afternoon.

“The minor fire was successfully put out by the Putrajaya Fire and Rescue team and was confirmed not to have spread to other areas of the Treasury Building,” MOF said in a statement.

Sparks from nearby renovation works might have set a pile of papers ablaze, leading to the fire at a dumpsite on the ground floor of the Finance Ministry building, according to the police.

Pic credit: The Star

It is also pleasant news for MOF to confirm that “no injuries or losses were reported in the 2.26pm incident at the store located at the ground floor of the North Block” while the ministry is awaiting an official report from the authorities on the cause of the fire.

In light of the voices of dissent emanating from the Perikatan Nasional (PN) camp especially with its chairman and former premier Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin vehemently denying his role in having misappropriated funds in excess of RM600 bil during his administration, MOF must surely step of security at all costs given that safety of confidential files can be as vital as human lives.

Utmost precaution must be taken to prevent any untoward act of arson aimed at destroying hard evidence that can shed light into the likelihood of embezzlement which certain quarters claimed explained the availability of an abundance source of fund for PN to splash during the recently concluded 15th General Election (GE15).

Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has said that based on information obtained, there were some processes and procedures that were not followed by the PN government and that there were companies with interests or involving families.

Moreover, the Tambun MP-elect said he had been informed by Treasury officials that there was a serious violation of standard procedure in Putrajaya’s expenditure under the 17-month stewardship of the Bersatu president (March 2020-August 2021). This included excessive procurements and high mark-ups.

“A large portion of the (RM530 bil) came from the Employees Provident Fund (special withdrawal schemes) which is the people’s own money, now he admits it,” Anwar had pointed out during his maiden media conference as Finance Minister.

“But there are tens of billions that were allocated where breaches of procedure were found.”

Even the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has opened an investigation paper on the misappropriation of RM600 bil in funds during Muhyiddin’s administration.

MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki when contacted by Bernama confirmed the matter but declined to reveal more details on the agency’s investigation.

“Yes, MACC has opened an investigation paper on the issue (RM600 bil funds),” he said briefly.

Anyway, the plot has only thickened with Muhyiddin having brought in the name of his appointed technocrat-turned-finance minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz (now International Trade and Industry Minister) into the picture.

“Just call Tengku Zafrul to come to your (Anwar) office in the morning, ask him whether it’s true Muhyiddin had taken the RM600 bil,” Muhyiddin told a PN ceramah in Padang Serai on Monday (Dec 5) night.

“They accuse me (of misappropriating) RM600 bil. But when I was the PM, we actually spent RM530 bil, not RM600 bil, to help the people. I am ready to be brought before the courts anytime.” – Dec 7, 2022


Main pic credit: New Straits Times

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