by Lim Kit Siang - Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong
in Petaling Jaya
on Friday, 10th January 1997

Muhammad Taib’s three brothers should clear the name of Selangor Mentri Besar by convincing Malaysians that there could be no doubt whatsoever that the RM2.4 million belonged to them

On Tuesday, Bridgecon Berhad executive chairman Datuk Raduan Muhammad Taib said the money equivalent to RM2.4 million had been given to his brother, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Taib to purchase property on the Gold Coast near Brisbane and that it belonged to him and two other brothers, Datuk Othman and Hasan.

However, when asked how he and his brothers had raised the money for the purchase of the property, he said the matter ”could be explained” but he could not expand any further as he feared that it was sub judice.

It was also reported that Raduan also declined to comment on why the brothers had given cash of S$1 million and RM700,000 or whether a major portion of the money had belonged to him as he was the most successful of the brothers.

The sub judice excuse is completely unacceptable, for if Raduan and his brothers are really worried about this rule, he should not have said a single word until the trial of Muhammad Taib in the Brisbane magistrate’s court on March 21 for the offence of not declaring RM2.4 million when leaving Brisbane for New Zealand on Dec. 22.

Raduan should know better than anyone else that the sub judice rule does not apply in Malaysia and that in any event, there is nothing to jeopardise in Muhammad Taib’s case as the Selangor Mentri Besar had publicly admitted to having the money as well as commiting the “technical offence” of not making any declaration as required under Australian law because of ignorance of the law.

Muhammad Taib’s three brothers should realise that they owe a duty, not only to their brother who is Selangor Mentri Besar but even more important to the people of Selangor and Malaysia, to fully explain the nature, origin, source and purpose of the RM2.4 million which they claim was theirs as Muhammad’s credibility and integrity depend on the their ability to convince Malaysians that there could be no doubt whatsoever that the RM2.4 million cash belonged to them and not Muhammad Taib.

Fourteen questions for Raduan, Othman and Hassan to satisfy in the court of Malaysian public opinion to clear the name of Muhammad Taib

What Raduan, Othman and Hasan should worry is not about fictitious sub judice of the proceedings in the Brisbane magistrate’s court, but the prejudice in the minds of Malaysians about the credibility of Muhammad Taib’s explanation because of the failure of the three brothers to conclusively and authoritatively prove in the court of Malaysian public opinion that the RM2.4 million was theirs.

What Raduan, Othman and Hasan should do is to appear at a joint press conference to establish beyond a shadow of doubt that the RM2.4 million was theirs, by giving clear-cut answers to the following 14 questions:

In his statement, Raduan said he and his brothers “would co-operate” with the Anti-Corruption Agency and other authorities in their investigations on Muhammad.

From this statement, it is clear that the ACA had not started investigations into Muhammad over the RM2.4 million cash caper in Brisbane. The question is why the ACA is holding back on actual investigations, although it had announced that it had “started” investigations - why it is only a “verbal” and not an actual start, beginning with the interrogation of the Selangor Mentri Besar and his brothers?