KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19, 2015:

Those who plan to illegally take advantage of the RM500 special aid allocated for flood victims will see themselves facing serious legal action, said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Committee (MACC).

Malay daily Berita Harian,in its publication today, said that the warning was issued by the commission’s chief Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed to deter any individuals from falsely claiming to be affected by the floods in order to take advantage of the handout.

Abu Kassim was quoted by the daily as saying that anyone caught doing so would be investigated under Section 18 of the MACC Act 2009 that carries a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of not more than five times the amount taken or RM10,000 fine.

“We don’t want the money to be given to undeserving individuals when there are those who are really in need.”

Nine complaints made by those unsatisfied by the government’s assistance.

According to Abu Kassim, the commission’s Flood Fund Management Integrity Committee has received 45 complaints from the flood victims so far, nine of which are regarding the lack of assistance from the government.

He said that these complaints will be looked into as the commission aimed to ensure that any aid allocated by the government were distributed to the victims entirely, free from the practices of cronyism.

Abu Kassim added that his officers will go on the ground to meet the villagers and obtain further information on the assistance’s recipients.

“We will get the help of NGOs and MACC Foundation and get them to be our eyes and ears.”

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had recently announced that every family affected the year-end flood will receive a special aid of RM500 while the next-of-kin of those who lost their lives during the calamity would get a RM5,000 bereavement payment.

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