By Kim Quek | MC
The total impotence of law-enforcing institutions across the full spectrum of the Malaysian polity to deal with high corruption and criminal activities of the ruling elite is mercilessly exposed through the serial unfolding of scandals by Deepak Jaikishan – one time close associate of the Prime Minister’s wife.
First, it was the police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) and the Attorney General who have remained steadfastly silent despite a series of swirling expose’ for more than one month of Prime Minister Najib Razak family’s alleged acts to cover up the PM’s alleged link to the murder of Mongolian beauty Altantuya. In addition to accusing the family for committing bribery and criminal coercion in order to come up with a false statutory declaration to protect the PM, Deepak also accused the family for having accepted bribery from him for facilitating his participation in a scandalous Defence Ministry (Mindef) project – the construction of the RM100 million National Defence Education Center (Puspahanas). The PM and his family have also remained strangely and inexplicably silent.
Now, even the Securities Commission, watchdog of the securities market, is also found wanting in protecting the integrity of the Malaysian Stock Exchange when it fails to haul up a Defence Ministry linked company embarking on a dubious deal, which was apparently designed to quell the politically explosive Deepak-Najib scandal. Listed company Boustead Holdings Bhd, an investment arm of the military pension fund entity (LTAT) under Mindef, is playing the Santa Claus to dish out millions of ringgit in cash to silence whistle-blower Deepak and the Mindef project recipient, Selangor Umno women wing’s chief Raja Ropiaah Raja Abdullah, who was sued by Deepak over alleged breach of trust in their ill-fated partnership in the project.
MINDEF TO THE PM’S RESCUE
Boustead is buying up Deepak’s company Astacanggih Sdn Bhd for RM30 million, and at the same time also buying the disputed 200 acres of land from Ropiaah’s company Awan Megah (M) Sdn for RM130 million. Upon this announcement by Boustead, Deepak instantly withdrew his law suit against the Umno leader, presumably appeased and refrained from further blowing his trumpet.
However, behind the Boustead maneuver that resulted in this lightning development are facts that are perhaps stranger than fiction – the goods that Boustead are chasing after are in truth illusionary to its shareholders. For Astacanggih is but an asset-less shell company that has never filed its accounts with the Companies Commission, and the 200 acre land, which was intended as Mindef’s part payment to Awan Megah for undertaking in 2005 to complete the Mindef project, is still vested with the government, as the project is never constructed. Furthermore, the 200 acre land is designated for building military camp, and Awan Megah is prohibited from conveying it to any third party. In addition, the Selangor State government, which is the administrator of all lands in the state, has also declared that it will not approve any transfer of the said land unless it is used to build military camp. Hence, Boustead is effectively barred by law to acquire the land.
With this land transaction being a castle in the air, Boustead is, in truth, paying out RM160 million, for which it gains nothing.
So shouldn’t the Securities Commission as well as the MACC have stepped in to probe the directors of Boustead and LTAT respectively over this outrageous fraud and betrayal of the welfare of military personnel and veterans, who have obviously become sacrificial lambs at the altar of political expediency of the political masters?
And shouldn’t the Defence Minister, who has apparently initiated such a political move to save Najib’s skin, be also investigated by MACC over such abuse of power, corruption and bribery on his part?
PM ABUSED POWER TO GRANT PROJECT
As a further blow to the image of PM Najib, he happened to be the Defence Minister who approved in 2005 the award of the project to Awan Megah, which is now found to be a company that has remained dormant since 2003, certainly without the wherewithal to design and construct the RM100 million Mindef facilities. This is clearly an act of abuse of power and corruption.
In any democratic country where the government is popularly elected, the prime minister would have stood up to face these serious and unyielding allegations by either denying or acting to reclaim his dignity; and the law-enforcing institutions would also have swung into action – one after another – to uphold the law. But in Malaysia, we have only eerie silence, save the noises made by the opposition, mainly through the Internet, as the relative news are blacked out in the mainstream media.
Obviously, our institutions, including the mainstream media (all newspapers and TV channels), have either being neutered or reduced to serving as lapdog of the political masters; and unless these institutions are thoroughly reformed, the plundering and breach of law by the ruling elite with impunity will only get worse – a path that will lead eventually to state bankruptcy and national catastrophe.
For peace-loving Malaysians who yearn for the restoration of rule of law, what alternative do they have other than to seek a change of government by granting a new mandate – through the coming election – to the opposition alliance, whose corruption-free leadership has demonstrated the ability to administer the state governments under its control with integrity and prudent financial management?
Kim Quek is the author of banned book The March to Putrajaya