An Anti-Corruption Agency officer contacted me yesterday evening and Tuesday has been fixed for the ACA to start its investigations.
Yesterday, I had also lodged with the ACA four press reports as the basis for its investigations, 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, Kelanamas" 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|
In his videoconference from London last week with UMNO leaders after the UMNO Supreme Council meeting, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad gave a clear signal for an all-out war against corruption to be waged, declaring:
"We will not defend anybody who is corrupt. Otherwise, people will think that just because we are in power, we protect them...this is not healthy for the party and the Government.
"I think that we should not only be clean but also be seen to be clean, or we will lose our credibility."
Let the ACAís handling of the Ling Hee Leong case be a test case that the ACA is now given powers to conduct full and thorough investigations without regard to rank or position, regardless of whether a Cabinet Minister is involved or not.
Let the ACA prove that it could act with a sense of urgency and produce results with despatch and not drag its feet as it had done in many cases involving prominent political personages in the past.
In particular, let the ACA complete its investigations and be in a position to submit a report to Parliament which is meeting from July 14 onwards, because I would be asking a specific question in next monthís Parliament on the outcome of ACA investigations into my ACA report yesterday.
If Ling Hee Leong is able at the age of 27 to have the prowess to embark on over RM1.2 billion corporate acquisitions completely on his own merit, then he should be an exemplary model for all aspiring entrepreneurs in Malaysia and let ACA show the whole country in its report to Parliament how Ling Hee Leong could have catapulted into the billion-ringgit bracket of the corporate stratosphere without any improper political or Ministerial influence of his father.
All political parties, including those in the Barisan Nasional, have publicly declared their full support in waging an all-out war against corruption. Are the Barisan Nasional parties, including MCA and MCA Youth, prepared to publicly declare full support for comprehensive investigations by the ACA as to how Ling Hee Leong 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?