Thursday, 25 October 2012

Rafizi says willing to fly to HK to push ICAC on Sabah Umno

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 —  Rafizi Ramli said today he was willing to go to Hong Kong to meet the territory’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and present his case, if it remains silent about the status of the RM40 million “political donation” received by Sabah Umno.

The strategy director for PKR said this was because ICAC had failed to explain whether the case is closed or is still ongoing.

“If I still fail to get any answers and explanation from ICAC, then maybe I will have to fly to Hong Kong myself.
“Based on statements, and new evidences found through Umno leaders and from the Parliament, it is my opinion that ICAC has grounds to investigate especially under Section 16 (3), Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) 2001 since there is doubt about the money’s source,” Rafizi told reporters at Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) today.
However, Rafizi added that there is a policy in ICAC which states that any investigation over three years old will be closed.

“We have contacted ICAC and there has been no confirmation from them that the case has been closed from lack of graft elements.

“However, as Sarawak Report has reported, there is a statute in ICAC that limits an investigation to three years. If there is no feedback from the investigated country, then the case will be closed,” he said.

Rafizi said that he will also want to get an answer from ICAC to confirm whether the case has been closed because of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) lack of co-operation.

Yesterday, de facto law minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said that he was unsure if the RM40 million “political donation” for Sabah Umno had been remitted into the personal bank account of an Umno leader, as alleged by a former Barisan Nasional (BN) MP, rather than the ruling party itself.

Ex-BN MP Datuk Seri Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing said on Tuesday night that the RM40 million had been remitted to the personal account of an Umno leader, disputing Nazri’s claim the day before that the money was held frozen in a Hong Kong investment account. Bumburing had also said that family members of this Umno leader, whom he did not name, have been given access to this account, and have even been making withdrawals “bit by bit”.

In Parliament earlier this month, it was revealed that Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman had been cleared of corruption after the local anti-graft authorities found that the RM40 million in question was a “political donation” to Sabah Umno and was not meant for the chief minister’s personal use.

According to past reports, the probe was first kicked off in 2008 at the request of Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) after a businessman was allegedly arrested when attempting to smuggle the cash back to Malaysia.

But, findings by the MACC later cleared Musa’s name and subsequently led to the ICAC closing its probe against the Sabah Umno chief.

Opposition lawmakers here have, however, been dissatisfied with the closure of the matter and have been demanding the Najib administration explain the source of the donation and the exact events leading up to the probe on Musa.

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