Lim Kit Siang
There continues to be widespread disbelief and questions galore about the highly-publicized exoneration of Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman of corruption in connection with the seizure of S$16 million (RM40 million) cash and arrest of Sabah businessman Michael Chia at the Hong Kong International Airport on August 14, 2008 for money trafficking and laundering before boarding a flight bound for Kuala Lumpur.
It was earlier reported that Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) found that the money was earmarked for Musa and were part of more funds being deposited into a Swiss bank account containing US$30 million allegedly being held in trust for the Sabah Chief Minister by a lawyer.
If what the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said in his parliamentary reply is true, that investigation papers submitted to the Attorney-General by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) show that the RM40 million a Sabah businessman was caught with in trying to smuggle into Malaysia from Hong Kong were political contributions to the state Umno and not for Chief Minister Musa Aman and that “no element of corruption was proven”, two immediate questions arise:
1. Why did the MACC submit investigation papers to the Attorney-General for decision when “no element of corruption was proven”; and
2. Why has the MACC taken more than four years to discover that it has no case of corruption against Musa Aman?
Both these questions lead to a third question:
3. Can MACC recover from the disastrous setback of being exposed as among the most inept and incompetent anti-corruption agencies in the world – taking more than four years to discover that the RM40 million smuggled Hong Kong foreign laundered fund was not meant for Musa Aman but for Sabah UMNO?
It is most pathetic that MACC, which had just hosted the 6th International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA) Conference and general meeting has allowed itself to be made an international fool as in other countries, the head of the anti-corruption agency would have resigned in protest at such indignity and public shame.
But these are not the only questions swirling among Malaysians the past three days over the bizarre tale of the foreign laundered money in Singapore currency amounting to RM40 million which had to be smuggled out of Hong Kong into Malaysia, and which Sabah UMNO has claimed ownership to exonerate Musa Aman, especially after the refusal by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to reveal the identity of the donor of the RM40 million smuggled laundered foreign funds!
But what needs no question is the fact that the greatest casualty of the caper of the RM40 million smuggled foreign laundered money at the Hong Kong International Airport four years ago is none other than Najib’s Government Transformation Programme to combat corruption and with it, the MACC.