DAP calls for a preliminary report on ACA investigations into Brisbane Courier Mail reports about the various properties linked to former Selangor Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Muhammad Taib to be tabled in Parliament before the end of current parliamentary meeting


Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): Yesterday, I had called on former Selangor Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Muhammad Taib to publicly clarify what are the Brisbane Courier-Mail reports about his Australian properties which are lies and which are truths as he had said he had instructed his lawyers to sue the Brisbane newspaper.

I had also said Muhammad Taib should realise that it is quite easy to check on the ownership of Australian properties, as the various Australian states maintain a Real Estate databank which are available on-line, and it is not difficult to verify whether the two properties referred to by Brisbane Courier-Mail had been bought in the name of Muhammad Taib’s wife, Asbi Rohani Adnan - as this databank is available to all Real Estate companies in Australia for a monthly fee.

I wish to state that I have received an email from Brisbane that a check through this Real Estate databank showed that "The 2 properties indicated in the Courier Mail fitted the exact descriptions. The data bank showed the exact prices paid …Looks like the reporters found the same source of information."

I call on the Government to present a preliminary report on Anti-Corruption Agency investigations into the Brisbane Courier Mail reports about the various multi-million ringgit properties linked to Muhammad Taib before the end of the current Parliamentary meeting in three weeks’ time.

The ACA director-general Datuk Shafee Yahya was reported in Berita Harian today as calling for an end to speculation about ACA investigations into Muhammad Taib and that the ACA should be given time to conduct its investigations.

The ACA has been given enough time to conduct thorough investigations into the Brisbane Courier Mail reports in connection with Muhammad Taib, as I had sent the first Brisbane Courier Mail report to Shafee two months ago, but there was not only no action by the ACA at the time, I did not even receive any acknowledgement from Shafee of the Brisbane Courier Mail report dated December 31 which I had sent him.

In view of the easy on-line availability of the Queensland Real Estate Databank, the ACA should have no difficulty in checking whether there is any truth in the Brisbane Courier Mail reports about the RM2 million Gold Coast home at Sovereign Islands as well as the RM5 million ranch involving a 4500 ha cattle, sheep and grain property in Currajong Park in western Queensland.

In fact, I would be surprised if the ACA officials who are now in Brisbane do not have these particulars yet, and if this is the case, I would advise them to check the Queensland Real Estate Databank without any delay.

This is why it should pose no problem for the ACA to table a preliminary report before the end of the current parliamentary meeting on the outcome of the investigations into the Brisbane Courier Mail reports about the various Australian properties linked to Muhammad Taib.

Such a preliminary ACA report in Parliament is essential in order to restore public confidence in the credibility and and independence of the anti-corruption agency, as it has lost further public confidence in failing to investigate into Muhammad Taib until last week.

(16/4/97)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong