(Kuala Lumpur, Friday): I have lodged an ACA report to ask for full investigations as to how Ling Hee Leong, son of MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik could at the age of 27 embark on corporate acquisitions exceeding RM1.2 billion and whether there had been improper use and influence of his fatherís political and Ministerial position.
In my ACA report, I referred to four news reports, namely:
(i) The Edge 16th December 1996 under the heading "Young and bold - Ling catapults into corporate scene";
(ii) The Star 23rd December 1996 under the heading "Ling determined to turn his dream to reality";
(iii) Business Times 30th December 1996 under the heading "Berjaya Ind buy stakes in Promet, Kelenamas" and
(iv) Asiaweek, February 7, 1997 under the heading "Money Doesnít Grow on Trees".
From these reports, the corporate acquisitions of Ling Hee Leong, which began with the acquisition of 6.55 million Red Box Bhd shares, exceed RM1.2 billion, as made up of the following:
|(i) Dec. 96||Berjaya Industrial||- RM568 million|
|(ii) Dec. 96||Promet||- RM350 million|
|(iii) Dec.96||Kelenamas||- RM314.5 million|
|(iv) Sept.96||Red Box||- RM 52 million|
|Total||- RM1,284.5 million|
At a time when the country is desirous of having leaders who, in the words of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, are not only clean but seen to be clean, Liong Sik should have invited the ACA to conduct full investigations to establish that there had been no improper political or Ministerial influence in his son becoming a billionaire at the age of 27.
I call on the ACA to give top priority to investigations into the ACA report on Ling Hee Leongís phenomenal catapult into the billion-ringgit bracket in the corporate stratosphere and to establish whether there had been any improper political or Ministerial influence involving his father, and to submit a report to Parliament for the meeting next month.
I am actually doing Liong Sik a great service by giving him an opportunity not only to be clean but seen to be clean with regard to his sonís phenomenal catapult into the billion-ringgit bracket of the corporate stratosphere.
I would not have done Liong Sik this service of lodging an ACA report for a full investigation as to whether there had been any improper political or Ministerial influence if he had not made baseless allegations against the DAP and myself, particularly his insinuation that I might have collected RM3 million to pay his legal costs amounting to RM29,960 and squirrelled away the balance of RM2.7 million.
I had invited Liong Sik to a rendezvous at the ACA headquarters so that he could lodge an ACA report on my squirrelling away RM2.7 million and I still hope he would turn up, to show he is serious and not playing games with the very important issue of declaring an all-out war against corruption.
What happened here this morning is an unfortunate distraction from one of the biggest challenges facing the country since Independence forty years ago - whether the country can embark on an all-out war against corruption, regardless of rank or status, without fear or favour.
If Malaysia can embark on an all-out war against corruption, it would not only make history in the country but also in the world, for it is rare for any country to be able to carry out successful anti-corruption campaigns.
Already, there are forces in the Barisan Nasional leadership which is trying to check the growing momentum of an all-out war against corruption, arguing that "enough is enough" with the arrest and charging of one former Malacca State Exco member and the ACA investigating six other State Exco members and one Sabah State Minister.
Liong Sik seems to have emerged as one of the champions defending the status quo opposing any futher escalation in the all-out war against corruption, even claiming that only 0.001 per cent of corruption involved Barisan Nasional leaders. How does he know?
I am prepared to be proved wrong in my perception that Liong Sik is defending the status quo and opposes any further push in the all-out war against corruption.
In actual fact, the all-out war against corruption had merely taken the first few steps in a journey of a thousand miles, but there are already people who are worried and upset that too much had been done already!
There had been a lot of skeptics who believe that the all-out war against corruption, as announced by the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, would end up as another publicity gimmickry after one or two minor political figures had been sacrificed, as had happened in many other countries.
Malaysians should be aware of forces which are trying to check an all-out war against corruption and civic organisations and concerned citizens should make themselves heard to foil such a plan - as the all-out war against corruption is not a government war but must become a peopleís war.
I call on Malaysians to launch a national public awareness campaign to mobilise public support to consider how the all-out war against corruption can give given further depth and momentum and make Malaysia world-famous as one of the few countries which could successfully launch an all-out war against corruption.