Thursday 11 October 2012

MACC clears Musa Aman; RM40m was for Sabah Umno

UPDATED @ 06:58:10 PM 11-10-2012
October 11, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has cleared Datuk Seri Musa Aman 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.

In a written reply released in Parliament today to a question by Chua Tian Chang (PKR-Batu) last week, 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.

Musa had claimed the graft allegations were likely part of a conspiracy by his detractors who wanted to topple Barisan Nasional in Sabah. — File pic
“The funds were actually contributions made to the Sabah Umno liaison body and not for the chief minister’s personal use,” Nazri said in the reply.
 The minister added that Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has also investigated the case but “took no further action”.

“On the matter filed in the Switzerland courts, it was a MACMA (Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act) application by the ICAC seeking a probe on the same case.

“The MACMA application has also been withdrawn for the same reason as stated above,” he said.

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

The report claimed that a paper trail showed that the millions in euros, 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.

“I deny all these allegations. I wish to put it on record once again that I have no business association whatsoever with an individual named Michael Chia,” the usually media-shy Musa had said in a statement.

Musa instead 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 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”.

In June this year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had told Chua in a written reply that the MACC had completed its probe on the matter and had passed it on to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for consideration.

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