Thursday 1 November 2012

RM40m donation linked to sale of Navy secret?

Former top cop Mat Zain Ibrahim notes the coincidence of Chia’s arrest with the alleged Terasasi-DCNS transaction.

PETALING JAYA: There is a likely connection between the RM40 million contribution to Sabah Umno and the sale of a secret Navy document to a French defence company, according to former KL CID chief Mat Zain Ibrahim.

In an open letter released today, Mat Zain said the transactions for the political donation and the document sale were made around the same time in Hong Kong.

He alleged that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail had had full knowledge of both incidents since 2008 or earlier.

In August 2008, timber tycoon Michael Chia, alleged to be a proxy of Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman, was detained at Hong Kong with S$16 million (RM40 million) in a suitcase. He had booked a flight to Sabah.

Last May, news reports alleged that a subsidiary of the French company DCNS had paid 36 million euros (RM146 million) to the Hong Kong-based Malaysia-owned Terasasi (Hong Kong) Ltd for a document that contained the Malaysian Navy’s evaluation of the Scorpene-class submarines that the government was planning to buy.

Najib confidante Abdul Razak Baginda was one of the owners of Terasasi.

“As long as Najib refuses to reveal the source of the RM40 million political contribution to Sabah Umno and refuses to initiate any investigation into the account of Terasasi Hong Kong, it remains possible that the two incidents are related,” Mat Zain said.

He noted that the Scorpene submarines were currently docked at Sepanggar, Sabah, saying this might explain the involvement of Musa, who leads Sabah Umno.

Last month, amid accusations of corruption directed at Musa, Minister in the Prime Minister Department Nazri Aziz told Parliament that the cash Chia was carrying was not meant for Musa personally but was a donation to Sabah Umno.

He also said that Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail had cleared Musa of any wrongdoing.

In a recent letter addressed to the police and Najib’s administration, Mat Zain accused Gani of conflict of interest in his investigation of Musa. The two are related through marriage.

He claimed that Najib was aware of the conflict but had chosen to compromise with Gani under former’s “you help me, I help you” principle.

Mat Zain also noted the government’s lukewarm response to the allegation about the sale of a secret defence document, contrasting this with its reaction to the recent arrest in Lebanon of two Malaysians suspected of having terrorist links.

“I think Lebanon’s arrest of two Malaysians was similar to arrests made by other countries of Malaysians who smuggle drugs, kill or commit other serious crimes,” he said in today’s letter.

“But the sale of national confidential information is an act of treason and a threat to national security.”

He urged Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar to immediately set up a special team to investigate his allegations.

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