Friday 12 October 2012

Kit Siang bemoans lack of uproar over Musa Aman allegations

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 — An opposition lawmaker expressed his regret today over the ‘pin-drop silence’ of Umno and Barisan Nasional after Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman was cleared of graft allegations, and pointed out that the ruling coalition would have gone to town with accusations of “treachery and traitors” if the money involved was meant for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim or Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

“Malaysians could just imagine what would have happened if the RM40 million cash Michael Chia was caught trying to smuggle into Malaysia from Hong Kong were meant for Anwar or anyone of the PR parties,” Lim Kit Siang from the DAP said today.

“The leaders at various levels of Barisan Nasional component parties and their mainstream mass media would have competed, day-in day-out for weeks, demanding full accounting and action by the authorities, including throwing the books at corruption or money laundering.”

Yesterday, Parliament was told the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had cleared Musa (picture) of graft and money-laundering allegations after finding that the over S$16 million (RM40 million) allegedly channelled to the Sabah chief minister through corrupt means was meant for Sabah Umno’s use.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said the Attorney-General’s Chambers had shelved the matter after finding no element of corruption in the case, which was first raised by whistleblower site Sarawak Report earlier this year.

In April this year, Sarawak Report had revealed documents allegedly from the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) showing that a Sabah lawyer was holding some US$30 million in a Swiss bank account for Musa.

The report also claimed that a paper trail showed that the millions in euro as well as US, Hong Kong and Singapore dollars had been channelled from several firms managed by Hong Kong-based timber trader Michael Chia to a number of British Virgin Island companies and subsequently to the lawyer’s Swiss account.

Musa has since denied any link with Chia, who was arrested and charged with money laundering after attempting to smuggle S$16 million (RM40 million) back to Malaysia in 2008.

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

Lim said today the utter indifference and unconcern shown by the authorities to the case was disturbing.

“The question Sabahans and Malaysians are entitled to ask the prime minister is whether the case of the RM40 million dirty cash — whether for Sabah Chief Minister or Sabah Umno (of which Musa is Chairman) — is now fully closed as far as the Malaysian government is concerned,” he said.

Musa had previously accused Sarawak Report of defaming him, claiming the graft allegations were likely part of a conspiracy by his detractors who wanted to topple Barisan Nasional (BN) in the east Malaysian state.

He had said he would offer full co-operation to the authorities if he was required to but stressed that in the meantime, his focus was on serving the state instead of “entertaining these frivolous allegations”.

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