Sanusi rare earth probe: 'Just four questions, that's all MACC asked me'

ALOR STAR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has recorded Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor's statement over investigations into the rare earth elements (REE) mineral theft in the state.

The Kedah menteri besar said the MACC officers recorded his statement last week and that the process went smoothly.

"It (statement recording) was done... last week. They only asked four questions, that was all.

"I am not a bad person. I am known as a good person, so they did not need to ask me so many questions," he told reporters after the swearing-in of all Kedah 36 elected representatives for the 15th state legislative assembly at Wisma Darul Aman here today.

Sanusi, however, declined to divulge the location where his statement was recorded.

Earlier this month, MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki had said the graft buster agency would record the Kedah Menteri Besar's statement over the REE mineral theft issue in the state.

Azam was reported as saying the agency had obtained fresh leads in the investigation.

In response, Sanusi was reported as saying he would extend his full cooperation to the MACC and was ready to give his statement to the agency.

Meanwhile, in a related development Sanusi reminded the people against resorting to stealing REE mineral.

He said unlike iron ore and gold mining, REE mineral mining is far more sophisticated and its technology is not available locally.

"I wish to remind the people in Kedah that REE is a sophisticated mineral. It is unlike mining iron ore or gold.

"It involves technology and going through up to seven, eight processes.

"There only two countries which have the technology, China and the United States.

"They are not exporting the technology thus we are bargaining to get them to bring the technology here and set up (REE mineral) processing plants," he said.

Yesterday, nine individuals including five foreign nationals were charged at the Baling Sessions Court for trespassing into Rimba Teloi Forest Reserves in Sik on Sept 14.

Kedah police chief Datuk Fisol Salleh was reported as saying that the men were detained at Compartment 15 of the forest reserves for illegal REE mineral exploration activities.

Fisol was also reported as saying the illegal REE exploration activities conducted by the group had no ties to any corporate entities.

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