RM100 million Sabah money-laundering – why ICAC but not ACA investigating?

I started my speech on the Finance Ministry during the 2009 Budget committee stage debate in Parliament today by referring to the latest bad news for Malaysia – international ratings agency Fitch today downgraded its outlook for Malaysia from “positive” to “stable”, saying the economy would be hit by lower oil and commodity prices.

In revising the outlook on Malaysia to stable, Fitch took into account the likely impact on the balance of payments of lower oil and other commodity prices.

It said that Malaysia would also suffer from “the deterioration in external demand conditions for electronics exports.”

I pointed out that the latest Fitch rating for Malaysia is further proof of the testing times the Malaysian economy is facing with the worst global economic crisis and the crucial importance of the confidence factor in tiding through the trying times.

I expressed regret that when the new Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak presented the RM7 billion economic stimulus when winding-up the 2009 Budget policy debate last Tuesday, its “confidence” capability was seriously undermined when Najib committed the serious parliamentary faux pax of not presenting it in a regular and proper manner in Parliament by an amendment to the 2009 Budget.

I blamed this on the preoccupation of UMNO Ministers on Umno party elections resulting in serious neglect of their government and parliamentary duties.

Umno Ministers should take five-month leave from their Cabinet and parliamentary duties to focus on their Umno party election campaign instead of neglecting up to 80 per cent of their government duties.

The excessive police force and violence at the Petaling Jaya candlelight vigil for freedom, justice and democracy, resulting in the arrest and manhandling of 23 persons, including DAP MP for PJ Utara, Tony Pua, a DAP Selangor State Exco and a DAP State Assemblyman was also cited as an example where poor or bad governance, not just in economic matters, could undermine investor confidenc in Malaysia.

What could be worse when the Selangor Chief Police Officer, Deputy Comm Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar could publicly tell a lie in denying that the police had moved in on the participants at the candlelight vigil last night while they were singing the national anthem, when there are videos to prove the Selangor CPO wrong.

I next asked whether the Barisan Nasional government is serious about fighting corruption when the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) is not investigating into RM100 million money-laundering involving a Sabah politician although Hong Kong’s Independent Commisson Against Corruption (ICAC) was in Sabah for a three-day investigation last week.

DAP MP for Kota Kinabalu Dr. Hiew King Cheu, accompanied by DAP’s sole Sabah State Assemblyman, Jimmy Wong Sze Phin (Sri Tanjong) and Sabah DAP leader Edward Mujie had lodged a police report in Dang Wangi, Kuala Lumpur to demand that the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) investigate the allegation which had appeared in the press and the Internet about a Hong Kong seizure of RM16 million cash meant for the Umno Permatang Pauh by-election campaign.

During the month of August, the Internet had been abuzz with the news and report that Michael Chia, a confidante of the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman had been arrested at the Hong Kong International Airport on August 14 for alleged money trafficking and laundering with Singapore currency worth RM16 million before boarding a flight bound for Kuala Lumpur.

I asked in Parliament today why the Sabah Chief Minister had failed to meet with the three-man ICA investigating team and why the ACA is not investigating into the money-laundering scandal, which is now said to involve more than RM100 million and not just RM16 million as originally reported in the Hong Kong media.

  1. #1 by Mr Smith on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 4:46 pm

    Because the criminals are from UMNO. If they had been from Pakatan, hell would have broken loose with TV coverage every 15 minutes.

  2. #2 by shortie kiasu on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 4:50 pm

    Another case of Muhamad Taib in Australia! But he was lucky he got away by excusing himself that he does not understand English written on the notice board! Great, isn’t it?

    Surprisingly the Australian court believed his line of ‘story’ and acquitted him without forfeiting the cash he was carrying. The Australian nor Malaysian Governments investigated this case under anti corruption laws or if they had, it must be a shoddy work that he was let go sct free.

    Common sense, who would want to carry and bandy about cash in the tens of millions?? It is mind boggling to even imagine carrying RM16 million CASH in Singapore dollars, even though Singapore dollar has ten thousands dollar-denomination.

    But the stack of money would be voluminous even though all of them are in ten-thousands Singapore dollars notes. However in practical sense, it would be impossible to collect all the cash in ten-thousand dollars notes if without the internal assistance.

    These are the economic predators and traitors of the country, they are the greatest enemies of this country and should be punished severely including forfeiting their citizenships.

  3. #3 by shortie kiasu on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 4:53 pm

    Fitch had also downgraded South Korea from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’, worse than Malaysia.

  4. #4 by k1980 on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 5:12 pm

    The worse has yet to come. Anwar Ibrahim has predicted a dictatorial regime under Prime Minister-designate Najib. Just like Yosemite Sam replacing Bugs Bunny as PM

  5. #5 by mozila on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 5:18 pm

    Uncle Lim, thanks for all the hard works. I am truly proud of you as a malaysian working abroad. But the problem now is as long as the UMNO in power, things will not change overnight. I know it is more and more difficult for DSAI to take over this government by now, but rest assure the day will come when the next GE take place.

  6. #6 by mozila on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 5:24 pm

    our system needs major revamp. Start with the judge, the IGP and the whole police force, the public service and most importantly, revamp the unfair policies towards the minorities. I really hope that the day will come so that we can stand proud to the rest of the world as \Malaysian\ rather than calling ourself \ malaysia Malay, Malaysia chinese or Malaysia India…

  7. #7 by disapointed86 on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 5:28 pm

    what a shame and disgrace for Malaysia ACA, for sure we can never imitate of the standard of the well know ICAC in HK…i am just wondering if the ACA in Malaysia really an independent body??? or there is someone behind from the govt controlling them..they are like tigers in the cage…or if not the ACA officer in Malaysia not up to that standard..maybe we should hire officer from some other place to boost the standard of the ACA in Malaysia..disappointed

  8. #8 by Godfather on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 5:57 pm

    According to sources in Singapore, Standard & Poors and Moody’s, the two main rating agencies, are considering a downgrade for Bolehland from “stable” to “negative”, citing the ballooning deficit spending, bloated bureaucracy and falling FDI.

    If this happens, then the cost of funding for all Malaysian entities will go up, and FDI will fall even further. No wonder Nor Mohamed is pleading his case with these rating agencies.

    Perhaps ancillary to this thread is the multi-billion dollar spending by a GLC to acquire an Indonesian bank at grossly inflated prices, and also to acquire a Pakistan bank at a time when Pakistan has surrendered control to the IMF. Both investments if revalued today would clearly show losses of billions of ringgit to the GLC concerned.

    Stupidity may have a role in these investment decisions, but it can’t possibly be the only reason.

  9. #9 by Steven on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 6:14 pm

    Well, it’s quite obvious these money had to be ill-gotten to be stashed away in a foreign land…ala Taiwan Chen Sui Beng! When needed to be used for buying votes, someone has to smuggle them back illegally right? Dirty money cannot see the light of day mah…and money used to buy votes must be kept very very secret…no? What’s new…after all this country has always been known around the world as one of the most corrupted involving the regime, judiciary and the police force.

  10. #10 by Godfather on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 6:23 pm

    We are still waiting for our version of the ICAC. Minus the “I” of course.

  11. #11 by Jeffrey on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 6:45 pm

    Further to Steven’s posting money laundering under Malaysia’s Anti Money Laundering Act of 2001 (AMLA) is committed extensively whenever there is a general election or by election and if caught is not treated as money laundering but “money politics” by slap on the wrist of suspension under party’s disciplinary rules.

    AMLA is now used only against low ranking police superintendent accused of depositing RM1.3 million bribes in his banks paid by syndicates. Or a bank executive embezzling an American premier account holder’s money more than RM1 million!

    Thats how far our AMLA has taken us – though it is said there wre more than 200 cases under investigations so to speak.

    The Hong Kong’s Independent Commisson Against Corruption (ICAC)’s investigations in Sabah is interesting as it won’t be easy to cover up the fall out from the ICAC’s investigations.

    Lets wait and see.

  12. #12 by yhsiew on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 7:37 pm

    ACA is powerless when high-profile politicians intervene in suspected corruption case.

  13. #13 by ipohMali on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 8:22 pm

    ACA = Assist Corruption Agency

  14. #14 by riversandlakes on Monday, 10 November 2008 - 9:06 pm

    What’s new? ACA reports to the PM.

    Somebody please tell the rotten Barang Naik that the ‘I’ in ICAC stands for INDEPENDENT.

    Wiki says:
    “Hong Kong has been transformed from a graft-ridden city into one of the cleanest places in the world, as recognised by international institutions such as the World Bank, the Heritage Foundation and the Transparency International. Some countries have looked up to the ICAC as an effective model of combatting graft holistically through detection, prevention and education.”

  15. #15 by frankyapp on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 1:28 am

    Ha Ha Ha !!! again another scandals exposed. It’s just a drop of the ocean.Just wait,more will be coming pretty soon. Rest assure,nothing will come out ,investigations after investigations,it’s just the waste of our money.This wasteful money should be better to put foods on the table for those find it difficult to do so,right,guys ? As long as any investigation by the ACA against those UMNO/BN elite group or warlords,nothing will come out of it.Who put these ACA officials in high places ? Who ordered the investigation ? Can you chopp off the hand that feeds you ?. Be real man and ponder about it,ok guys .

  16. #16 by Yee Siew Wah on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 - 12:45 pm

    Crystal clear that our ACA is only accountable to our Umnoputrs warlords. They are real scare of the efficient clean Hong Kong ICAC folks. They know they are nowhere compare to the ICAC in terms of EVERYTHING. They will also make themselves look not only damn stupid but the ICAC would be amazed at how Malaysia have these type of people with such “incredible” credentials and hollow mindset running the country all important agency.
    This scandal is only the tip of the iceberg. Remember we have our “holy” MT who took $$$$$$$$millions from Australia. He claimed he did not know any “englishi” la. What a joke la. And yet we have this guy got nominated by his similarly characteristics bums in Umno runniing the VP post.
    How to move ahead and progress if we have these kind of stupid fo_ls running the country.

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