ALOR STAR: Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail today revealed a photo allegedly of caretaker Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor with a Chinese national wanted in connection with the rare earth elements (REE) mineral theft in Kedah.
Saifuddin said Sanusi should explain why he had recently denied any knowledge of the man, identified as So Loi Fat, despite signing a letter to the then home minister to facilitate the man's application to enter the country in 2020.
"Sanusi claimed that he doesn't know who is So Loi Fat and he was not involved with MBI (Menteri Besar Incorporated) affairs.
"For sure, it is not wrong for Sanusi to pose for a picture with So Loi Fat... we are not arguing that. But why did he deny knowing the man?
"His letter to the then home minister clearly stated that he had applied for a working pass for So Loi Fat. Since you applied on his behalf, how can you claim to not know him?"
Sifuddin said this in a press conference at the state PKR office.
The Pakatan Harapan secretary-general reiterated that Sanusi, as a member of the MBI advisory board, should not simply wash his hands of MBI affairs.
"The fact that MBI is a separate entity does not mean he should simply wash his hands from the impact of MBI's shortcomings in governance and accountability. Even the name is Menteri Besar Incorporated... it is both hilarious and inappropriate for the MB to claim that he is not involved or has no responsibility over MBI affairs and everything was managed by the CEO (chief executive officer)," he said.
Saifuddin also disputed the claim by MBI CEO Muhamad Sobri Osman that the So and the other Chinese national implicated over REE mineral theft in the Bukit Enggang Forest Reserve in Sik were not employed by the company.
He revealed a letter by Sobri to the then home minister to seek approval for workers passes and approval from the Immigration Department.
"Sobri claimed that the two were not employed by MBI as they did not have workers' passes.
"However, in this MBI letter to the Home Ministry, it is clearly stated that So Loi Fat and Huang Zhiyi are listed among the 16 workers from China.
"In the application, it is clearly states MBI as the employer of the foreign workers. With this, Sobri's denial that the two men were not MBI employees just because they were not issued with workers passes is completely dismissed," he said.
Saifuddin also welcomed the police report lodged by MBI's human resources and administrative manager on Sunday to deny that the two Chinese workers were employed by the company.
"I welcome the police report. In fact, MBI should have lodged a police report against Huang Zhiyi on why he has used MBI's name as the employer to apply for working pass to enter this country," he said.
Saifuddin asked Sanusi to respond to all the questions related to MBI and the REE thefts as the people deserve to know the truth.