HK dropped Musa’s case after MACC probe, says Nazri

By Clara Chooi
Assistant News Editor
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 20, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 ― Putrajaya has confirmed that Datuk Musa Aman was only cleared of corruption after Malaysian graftbusters told Hong Kong authorities that a RM40-million cash contribution allegedly meant for the Sabah chief minister was a “political donation” to Umno.

De facto law minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz told The Malaysian Insider that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) probe on Musa was initiated after Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) requested for information on the issue.

He said the ICAC had asked for MACC’s co-operation after Sabah timber trader Michael Chia was arrested and charged with money laundering in 2008 for attempting to smuggle S$16 million (RM40 million) out of Hong Kong.

According to media reports, Chia had at the time told Hong Kong authorities that the money belonged to Musa.

“MACC agreed to co-operate with its Hong Kong counterparts and found that the money in question was not for Musa’s personal use.

“The agency then reported back to ICAC with the information and the Hong Kong authority decided to drop the matter and pull its complaint from the Swiss court,” Nazri told The Malaysian Insider yesterday.

The minister was asked to respond to DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang’s accusation that he had been giving conflicting reports to Parliament on which anti-graft authority ― Malaysia’s or Hong Kong’s ― had first cleared Musa of graft.

In a statement yesterday, Lim had demanded a full disclosure and chronology of events leading to Musa’s name being cleared, raising suspicion over whether Malaysia had tampered with the graft case to save the Umno leader from a graft charge.

Lim pointed out that Nazri had at first told Parliament that it was Malaysia’s Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) that had absolved Musa, based on findings from MACC’s investigation on the matter.

The minister also said that the ICAC had pulled its Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act (MACMA) application from Switzerland’s courts after finding that the RM40 million was meant for Sabah Umno and not Musa’s personal use.

But when speaking on the issue in the Dewan Rakyat again on Thursday, Nazri had told House that it was ICAC that had first cleared Musa, even telling opposition parliamentarians to refer their queries to the Hong Kong agency if they were dissatisfied with the decision.

Lim said that Nazri had “tied himself up in contradictions” and demanded the minister clarify which agency ― MACC, the AGC or Hong Kong’s ICAC ― had cleared Musa’s name, as well as the chronology of events.

Among others, Lim said Nazri should disclose details on when the MACC had completed its probe and submitted its papers to the AGC, when the AGC declared the matter closed and whether the MACC had agreed to its opinion.

He added that the minister should also reveal when the ICAC had completed its probe and decided to pull its case from the Swiss courts.

“Many questions cry out for answer on the RM40 million ‘smuggled’ cash from Hong Kong to Malaysia, ending up as donation to Sabah Umno, which Nazri should clear in Parliament on Monday,” the senior DAP lawmaker said.

When asked when the AGC had stepped in to declare Musa innocent, however, Nazri told The Malaysian Insider that he was unsure.

“I think it’s best that you ask the AGC on that. I am not clear as to whether the AGC cleared Musa after ICAC dropped the case or before,” he said.

Yesterday, Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak had dismissed allegations by the opposition that the RM40 million had been “smuggled” into Malaysia. He had previously defended the donation, but refused to divulge details on the source of the funds.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 20 October 2012 - 9:33 am

    Tanya Najib, mengapa hantar wang ke HK,
    Jawab Najib, beli condo untuk balak atau lembu pun OK…

  2. #2 by Godfather on Saturday, 20 October 2012 - 9:48 am

    UMNO had to tell the lie to ICAC. If there was no answer, then ICAC had to proceed with the case, including investigating UBS in Hong Kong and Switzerland. So UMNO had to admit the money belonged to it….and ICAC had no choice but to stop investigating the deal.

    The most amazing thing is that they refuse to answer the question of why a donation had to be routed through Isle of Man, Switzerland, and Hong Kong, before being physically smuggled in Singapore Dollars back to Malaysia. What this episode demonstrates is that it is probably the standard means of laundering and diverting money from Malaysia to overseas destinations, and then smuggling them back to Malaysia.

  3. #3 by Godfather on Saturday, 20 October 2012 - 9:52 am

    Hence the next question in Parliament to Nazri would be: how many times has UMNO received donations from overseas in such a manner i.e. movement of funds through different jurisdictions and then using mules to transport them in foreign currencies back to Malaysia.

  4. #4 by yhsiew on Saturday, 20 October 2012 - 9:55 am

    Why must a genuine donation route through so many countries before entering Malaysia?

  5. #5 by Cinapek on Saturday, 20 October 2012 - 10:40 am

    Typical. The inability to think through a problem clearly. More so when lying is involved. For reasons of expediency, just blab a lie and hope it suffices. Then when caught out, tell two lies to cover the first lie. When caught out again, tell four lies to cover the two lies. When all else fails, just declare the answer has been given in Parliament and refuse to answer any more questions.

    This is the same modus operandi for the Altantuya murder, the Scorpene scandal and the PKFZ debacle. The answers given were so flimsy that it begs more questions than answers. They trip themselves with their lies and think they can fool the people.

    This statement says it all and explains where the cover up originated from:

    …“The agency then reported back to ICAC with the information and the Hong Kong authority decided to drop the matter and pull its complaint from the Swiss court,” Nazri told The Malaysian Insider yesterday….”

    ICAC has no jurisdiction for corruption outside HK. They are only interested in the money laundering possibility. So ICAC did not clear anyone of corruption. When MACC reported to ICAC the money was for UMNO Sabah, as far as ICAC is concerned that is the end of the story for money laundering.

    But for the people of Malaysia, it is the beginnng of the story of corruption involved in this RM40m saga.

  6. #6 by Cinapek on Saturday, 20 October 2012 - 10:46 am

    As an aside, as BN tries to delay the GE hoping for a scandal to be desensitized, a new one crops up. By now BN should realize they have so many skeletons in the closet that it never ends. Everytime Najib comes up with one of those infantile handouts, PR dishes out another juicy scandal.

    I love it!

  7. #7 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Saturday, 20 October 2012 - 10:59 am

    Well well well. So it was umno’s money. Clean money. And in this case, it was mere contribution to umno, a political party. Nothing wrong there!


    But the convoluted way through which the supposedly clean money (that was what umno claimed anyway) was brought it makes it look unclean. Could it actually be unclean, then? One wonders.

    And it was not declared to the HK authority. So a crime must hv been committed there in HK. So what happened? The ICAC may hv succumbed to umno’s ketuanan power (remember, people in HK are of the same type as the pendatangs in malaysia) but the failure to declare the money to be taken out was another matter. Dont tell me that that too has been dropped?

    Wow, what did umno do? Give the hongkies butt show??!!

  8. #8 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 20 October 2012 - 11:12 am

    Yes, there’s currently no Malaysian legislation regulating political donation but it begs the question that if one says its legitimate political donation not in contravention of laws why was the RM40 million couriered through an individual in cash and in spite its large amount not transferred by normal means through telegraphic transfer via banking system, recorded as a political donation in the official accounts and books of Umno? Now anti money laundering laws (AML) anywhere including here makes all banks and professionals like auditors and lawyers the ‘reporting institution’/agent’ to report to authorities if they have reasonable cause to suspect a possibility of money laundering. Funneling of cash through individuals in circumvention of banking system & audit trail to avoid identification of source of funds is a prima facie case of suspicious AML scenario requiring investigation and disclosure. That is why the courier man was stopped and apprehended by HK ICAC in first instance! The govt. will set a bad example to ‘reporting institution’/agent’ in context of AML if it just says its political donation without disclosing the source. For it may (hypothetically) be asked how do people know he donation or parts of it is not from unlawful organisations like Al Qaeda??? Even if it were not, how do we know it’s not from some foreign entities trying to interfere with influence political outcome here? Isn’t that what was complained against NGO SUARAM & M’kini in relation to which a full scale investigation was launched?

  9. #9 by Godfather on Saturday, 20 October 2012 - 11:56 am

    Actually, the money was from George Soros. It was payment for the (extremely) rare opportunity to meeet with Najib. UMNO could not be seen to be taking money from Soros, so poor George had to route it through so many jurisdictions, and had to use a mule to carry the cash back to UMNO.

  10. #10 by Winston on Saturday, 20 October 2012 - 1:05 pm

    Well, well, well!
    The laws in this country are UMNO’s laws.
    The most important thing to do now is to single-mindedly pursue and win the coming GE.
    And revamp everything from the ground up after taking over Putrajaya!

  11. #11 by on cheng on Saturday, 20 October 2012 - 9:07 pm

    let see, rm 40 m, equal say S$ 16.2 m, say S$10,000 a piece, 1,620 pieces, still quite a bundle !
    Anyway, if ok money, why take 4 years to say so, and why cash, NOT any other form?? come on we are in electronic age now !! think rakyat , all below 7 years old or what ??
    why use a non bumi to carry the money?

  12. #12 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 21 October 2012 - 2:35 am

    This incident follows closely the plot in ‘Ali Baba and the 40 Million’.

    Now we only need some hot, boiling oil and Rosmah to do a belly dance.

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