The government may claim that the RM40 million that Hong Kong had seized from businessman Michael Chia may have been forSabah Umno and not Chief Minister Musa Aman, but court documents have shown that Chia has also given money to Musa’s sons.
Whistleblower website Sarawak Report said this yesterday in a posting, stating that Singapore High Court documents allegedly prove this.
“Don't rely on ‘forged documents’ from Sarawak Report for the proof on this matter,” said the website sarcastically, referring to Musa’s earlier denial.
“Go to the High Court of Singapore and look at the depositions made by the Swiss UBS Bank, which has been seeking to defend its management of these accounts for Michael Chia.
“In its evidence, the bank swears to a series of payments from these accounts made out to the sons of Musa Aman,” it said.
In an April expose, Sarawak Report revealed the court documents allegedly showing how Chia’s UBS bank account had been makingpayments to Musa’s sons, apparently for their education expenses in Australia.
Sarawak Report added that they have sighted the same documents in MACC’s possession, while Musa in his denial had accused it of forging the documents.
“These recorded payments perfectly match the bank statements we ourselves have acquired from the MACC's own investigation of this matter (now being suppressed by Umno ministers), which puts paid to the notion of ‘forgery’ once and for all,” it said.
Why hard cash?
The London-based website pointed out that government’s admission that Chia’s RM40 million was meant for Sabah Umno is an admission that Musa had dealings with the former.
“For the past four years, Musa Aman has strenuously denied that this money had anything to do with him or indeed that he had ‘any business association whatsoever’ with Michael Chia,” it said.
“However, the prime minister has now been forced to admit in the face of overwhelming evidence that the money was linked to Musa (in making the excuse that the money was for Umno Sabah).
“In any other country, such an excuse would be treated as an admission of enormous guilt, because of course it is just as criminal to launder illegal money on behalf of your political party as it is for yourself,” it said.
“Was the education of Musa's sons in Australia and their spending money 'Umno party business'?” it added.
Sarawak Report added that if the money was legal, then it could have been transferred via the bank rather than through a “suitcase to Sabah”.
“Is the world really supposed to take on trust that this sordid transaction, involving used notes stuffed into suitcases was all above board and there was no hint of corruption involved? Why is the PM not prepared to provide the evidence?” it asked.
Alleged source of funds revealed
The website, led by former British PM Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law Claire Rewcastle Brown (left), further detailed parties they claimed were behind the funds.
It listed a number of individuals and companies that have been putting money into Chia’s Hong Kong account, from which the Sabah Umno funds is said to have been drawn.
These figures include Sabah timber tycoons who are said to have received “numerous concessions” from Yayasan Sabah, of which Musa Aman is chief.
According to the article, such payments had been highlighted by the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in their investigations.
“If there is nothing wrong with millions of dollars being donated to Sabah Umno (chaired by CM Musa Aman) from timber barons who have received valuable concessions granted by the Board of Yayasan Sabah (chaired by CM Musa Aman), why does the prime minister leave it to Sarawak Report to make all this public?” it said.
Last week, de facto Law Minister Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz told Parliament that the RM40 million in Singaporean currency that Chia was carrying when he was arrested at in Hong Kong on August 14, 2008 was meant for Sabah Umno liaison body.
Nazri said that this was the findings of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). He said investigations also showed that there was "no element of corruption" involved and that the funds were not meant for Musa Aman's personal use.
Parti Bersatu Sabah said this has vindicated Musa of allegations of corruption.
DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, however, questioned MACC’s ability to conduct impartial investigations as the commission comes under the PM’s Department, headed by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who is also Umno chief.
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