MACC remands ex-Tourism Malaysia oficial and CEO over 'Speedy Gonzales' deal

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A former top official of Tourism Malaysia and a chief executive officer of a private firm have been remanded by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for four days over a RM99 million (S$32.65 million) corruption case.

Magistrate Irza Zulaika Rohanuddin allowed the 64-year-old man, who has a Datuk title, and 32-year-old woman CEO to be remanded until Saturday (Jan 12).

The two are being investigated under Section 23 of the MACC Act for abuse of power.

MACC officials brought the two in separate cars to the Putrajaya court complex at 9am on Wednesday (Jan 9).

The two were clad in the orange MACC lock-up garb and both covered their faces from the swarming press.

On Tuesday, MACC investigators arrested the Datuk, who is a prominent businessman, at 5.40pm after he arrived at the MACC headquarters for questioning.

The woman was arrested earlier at 5.20pm.

The contract, which was allegedly inked in a day, infamously known as the "Speedy Gonzales" deal, was done about a month before the general election last year.

The contract was for the woman's firm to act as a go-between for Tourism Malaysia and a China-based firm to promote Malaysia on social media.

The matter was first highlighted on May 31 last year by former Tourism Malaysia chairman Wee Choo Keong in his blog.

He claimed that the deal was against the Tourism Ministry's procurement regulations and done hastily without proper due diligence.