Liong Sikís statement that his son, Hee Leong is prepared to co-operate in ACA investigations most welcome as it would not do Hee Leong or his father any good if they adopt an obstructive attitude


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Sunday):
I welcome the statement by the MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik, that he had asked his son, Ling Hee Leong to co-operate with the Anti-Corruption Agency regarding shares worth RM1.2 billion which he owns, as it would not do Hee Leong or Liong Sik any good if they adopt an obstructive attitude.

If either of them adopt an obstructive attitude, this would be going against the spirit of an "all-out war" against corruption as well as disregarding the injunction by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed that leaders "must not only be clean, but must be seen to be clean".

It is also most welcome that the executive chairman of the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) Datuk Mohamed Ali Hassan made the offer yesterday to give whatever necessary help to the ACA with regard to my ACA report asking for full investigations as to how Liong Sikís son, 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.

May be, Hee Leong could be more transparent by publicly explaining whether he had fully disclosed in his latest income tax returns the RM1.2 billion corporate acquisitions, and how the various sources and costs of funding came from.

The offer by the Inland Revenue Board is a good sign for it shows a greater awareness by all agencies and sections of the public that they all have a role to play to establish a culture of public integrity.

I wish to make a clarification as there have been certain circles particularly from the MCA accusing me of picking on the MCA President when lodging an ACA report asking for full investigations as to whether there had been improper use and influence of Liong Sikís political and Ministerial position in Hee Leongís phenomenal catapult into the billion-ringgit bracket of the corporate stratosphere.

This is not correct. It was Liong Sik who "picked" himself, if anyone is to be responsible for such picking.

Despite the controversy over Hee Leongís phenomenal catapult into the corporate stratosphere swirling round the country ever since last December, I had not said a single word on the issue in the past seven months.

On 9th June, Liong Sik seemed to be suggesting that the all-out war against corruption launched by the Acting Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with the approval of the Prime Minister should not be extended to other Barisan Nasional parties apart from UMNO, unless it also covered the Opposition parties.

He then went on to insinuate gross financial impropriety on the part of DAP leaders, referring specifically to the collection of funds to pay his legal costs, asking who was to know whether DAP had raised not just RM30,000 but RM3 million from the people of Teluk Intan.

If the DAP had collected RM3 million from the people of Teluk Intan just to pay RM29,960 in costs to Liong Sik, DAP would not have won the Teluk Intan by-election with a Richter-6 "political earthquake" and I would definitely dare not return to Teluk Intan for a visit. In actual fact, I would be visiting Teluk Intan on Tuesday.

I had advised Liong Sik on 10th June that "those who stay in glass houses should not throw stones" and that DAP and DAP leaders are prepared to be investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency anytime and asked whether MCA and MCA leaders were prepared to be investigated by the ACA, as for instance, in probing into where Liong Sikís son, Ling Hee Leong, got all the RM1.2 billion for his various corporate acquisitions at the age of 27?

A day later on 11th June, at a post-Cabinet press conference, he pointedly raised the same issue, insinuating that if I had raised RM3 million to pay for his RM30,000 legal costs, I would have squirrelled away the rest of the collection.

This was what led to my invitation to Liong Sik to the ACA Headquarters on Friday, for him to lodge ACA report on the DAP collection of funds to pay his legal cost and to ask the ACA to investigate as to whether the DAP had actually collected RM3 million and squirrelled away the balance of the money; and for me to lodge an ACA report to ask for full investigations as to how Ling Hee Leong could at the age of 27 embark on corporate acquisitions costing over RM1.2 billion and whether there had been improper use and influence of his fatherís political and Ministerial position.

I made this invitation for political leaders to set an example that they are prepared to be investigated by the ACA if there are allegations of corrupt practices or public queries of public impropriety.

Liong Sik can still lodge an ACA report against me or the DAP to ascertain whether we had collected RM3 million from the people of Teluk Intan by-election to pay RM29,960 legal costs to him, and whether we had squirrelled away the balance of the money.

Liong Sik has therefore only himself to thank for the current ACA investigations into Hee Leong.

(15/6/97)


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