Dr Adham Baba Denies Link To Alleged Abuse Of RM30 Million In Grants To Produce PPE

The Health Minister said the accusation by anti-corruption organisation C4 was malicious and a form of "character assassination".

Cover image via Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia/Facebook & Yusof Mat Isa/Malay Mail

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba has denied any link to the companies being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over an alleged RM30 million graft case

Bernama reported on 5 May that the MACC launched an investigation into the Ministry of Health (MOH) for allegedly granting several contracts to unqualified companies to supply COVID-19 test kits, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and face masks to tackle the outbreak.

A source cited by Astro Awani stated that among those summoned by the MACC for inquiry was a property development company who supposedly acquired a laboratory construction project for the ministry.

The MACC denied that any arrest has been made after rumours circulated on social media about the detention of five individuals, which included "senior officials, a secretary, contractor, and a political party leader".

"The case is being investigated and we hope the public doesn't make any speculations as it would disrupt investigations," the MACC source told Bernama last week.

Image via Berita Harian

However, an anti-corruption non-governmental organisation (NGO) has since demanded that Dr Adham come clean on the contracts being probed by the MACC

In a statement yesterday, 11 May, the Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4) claimed that there was a connection between the contract parties and Dr Adham's chain of private clinics in Johor.

The anti-graft watchdog questioned if this was favouritism in the selection of contractors and whether there was the abuse of power for personal benefit.

"Given the importance that transparency and accountability must not be lost in the haste to respond to a pandemic as deadly as the COVID-19, C4 demands Minister Adham Baba to provide a full explanation in the name of public interest on the procurement contracts as well as the appointment of contractors," the NGO said in the statement.

C4 claimed that one of the rumoured contract recipients, Khazanah Jaya Sdn Bhd (KJSB), has ties to a Klinik Adham shareholder

Through the Companies Commission of Malaysia website, the anti-graft organisation found that two directors of KJSB, Tan Boon Keong and Tan Jiat Jui, are also shareholders and directors of another company, South Asia Noble Sdn Bhd (SAN).

C4 then noted a connection between SAN and Dr Adham through former director of SAN, Iskandar Miza Ahmad, who also happens to be the director of Klinik Adham and currently owns 1,000 shares in his chain of private clinics.

Dr Adham has since refuted the claims and said the accusation was malicious and a form of "character assassination"

The statement issued through the Health Minister's office yesterday evening strongly denies Dr Adham having any business interest in KJSB or any of its shareholders.

The office also pointed out that Iskandar Mirza had worked at SAN until 30 January 2015, whereas the two directors of KJSB only joined after that.

"Using the fact that Iskandar Mirza was a former employee of SAN to link the minister to accusations of abuse of power related to a different company does not make sense at all," the minister's office said.

"It must be sternly said that the minister has never given any instructions to any ministry officials to approve the awarding of contracts to KJSB or any companies," the statement added.

"All procurement and purchases by the MOH done throughout the COVID-19 outbreak were done according to procedure and due diligence led by the ministry's secretary-general and responsible officials."

The statement also said that Dr Adham welcomes MACC's investigation which is ongoing and is ready to give his full cooperation.

Healthcare workers have been in need of PPEs since March:

Malaysian individuals have been helping to keep up the PPE supply:

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