Friday 19 October 2012

Kit Siang questions conflicting answers on RM40mil fiasco

Ipoh Timor MP Lim Kit Siang has raised discrepancies in the answers from Minister in Prime Minister's Department Nazri Abdul Aziz and the federal anti-graft body on the RM40 million Nazri claims was donation to Sabah Umno and not to state Chief Minister Musa Aman.

This follows the different versions given by Nazri and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on which agency had cleared the "smuggling" of RM40 million from Hong Kong in August 2008,.

NONELim pointed out to discrepancies in Nazri's reply to Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai's supplementary question in Parliament yesterday, and to the written answer to a question from Batu MP Chua Tian Chang.

  • Nazri's reply to Tan was that the investigation was not done by the MACC. It was done by Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), which found no element of corruption in the matter. It is not an offence for donations to be channelled to any organisation or political party.
  • The minister's reply to Chua states that the RM40 million was a contribution to Sabah Umno liason committee and not to Musa, and that Attorney-General's Chambers was considering the evidence submitted by the MACC to determine whether there are elements of corruption. At the same time the ICAC took no further action after MACC's finding. As for the court case filed in Switzerland, it was a joint application done under Malaysian Criminal Mutual Assistance and ICAC for joint investigations. However, this has been withdrawn following the above reasons.
In addition to this, the DAP parliamentary leader said, MACC deputy chief commissioner Mohd Shukri Abdull revealed earlier this month that the MACC Operations Evaluation Panel at its meeting in May had asked MACC to collect further evidence on Musa.

Nazri placing himself in a bind

Lim said Nazri was tying himself up with contradictions with his answers and this has been further aggravated by the earlier response from MACC's Shukri.

He said it could be concluded from Nazri's answer last week that Sabah businessman Michael Chia tried to smuggle the money, despite attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail's finding of "no elements of corruption" in the investigation papers submitted to him from the MACC and not from Hong Kong's ICAC.

NONE"This is very different from what Nazri said yesterday, that it was the ICAC that cleared Musa of corruption and the MACC followed suit, and that the AG's decision that 'no element of corruption was proven' was why ICAC withdrew its request to the Swiss authorities requesting cooperation in a 'criminal matter' that it lodged over a Swiss bank account.

Lim said there were many questions left to be answered and so Nazri should set the record straight in Parliament during the committee stage debate on Budget 2013 for the Prime Minister's Department.

"Firstly, when did the MACC submit its investigation papers to the AG? When did the AG decide that 'no element of corruption was proven' and to close the file?

"Was the MACC in full agreement with the AG on this case, and if so, when did the MACC on its own arrive at such a conclusion?" he asked.

"How can the instruction of the MACC Operations Evaluation Panel at its meeting in May to the MACC to collect further evidence against Musa before proceeding to prosecution correspond with the AG's finding of 'no element of corruption proven' against Musa in the RM40 million fiasco?"

Lim further asked whether one could infer that the MACC was not aware that the AG had decided that Musa had been cleared.

The other questions are whether the Hong Kong's ICAC was informed of the AG's decision and when did ICAC withdraw its application to the Swiss authorities requesting co-operation in the serious money-laundering allegation against UBS Bank.

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