This press conference came about because of Hee Leongís most commendable open-minded attitude with regard to my ACA report asking the ACA to conduct full investigations as to how he could at the age of 27 and without any track record embark on corporate acquisitions exceeding RM1.2 billion in a matter of three months and whether there had been improper use and influence of his fatherís political and Ministerial position.
Hee Leong not only welcomed the ACA investigations, he also openly invited the reporters to ask whatever questions they want, declaring that he had acquired his present corporate position completely on his own merits and hard work, without any improper political influence of his father.
I had already said that if Hee Leong could satisfactorily convince me that he had through sheer hard work acquired the RM1.2 billion shares in a matter of three months at the age of 27 and completely without any track record, and that there had been no improper political or Ministerial influence involving his father, I would formally withdraw the ACA report.
I would go even one step further and would promote Hee Leong as a "national treasure" for he deserved to be emulated as a corporate "boy wonder" not only for Malaysia but even in the global marketplace!
I would also suggest in next monthís Parliament that Ling Hee Leong should be appointed by the Minister for Entrepreneur Development, Datuk Mustapha Mohamed, as Economic Adviser to his Midnistry to promote more Ling Hee Leongs in Malaysia so that we have more "corporate wonder boys" who could at the age of 27, without any track record, and solely through hard work, embark on billion-ringgit corporate acquisitions in a matter of three months.
I must congratulate the ACA for its serious and efficient investigations into the ACA report on Ling Hee Leong.
According to a press report yesterday, the ACA has checked with the Registrar of Companies which revealed that Hee Leong had interests in 23 companies.
I am hoping that Hee Leong would be here where he could make public all his interests in all these 23 companies, as well as other companies, and the full extent of these interests.
Malaysians would like to know what are the various loans which Hee Leong took for the RM1.2 billion corporate acquisitions in three months, who gave these loans, the terms of the loans, the basis on which these massive loans had been given, whether all the laws of the country had been complied with, whether it be the Companies Act, the Securities Industries Act, the banking laws, Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange bylaws and Bank Negara regulations.
Furthermore, Liong Sik should make a full statement as to whether, and if so what, role he had played in his sonís RM1.2 billion corporate acquisitions in three months at the age of 27 especially as Ling Hee Leong had said publicly that "Ninety-nine per cent of the time I wonít do anything without my fatherís blessing".
Hee Leong made this statement in the April 1997 issue of Journal One under the front-page cover story "The Lings - The Legacy Continues".
Hee Leong, who was project co-ordinator in Ekran Bhd before his phenomenal appearance in the Malaysian corporate scene acquiring over RM1.2 billion worth of shares in the short span of three months, admitted in this interview that Tan Sri Ting Pek Khiing is one of his corporate "role models".
It is in this interview where he is quoted as saying:
"Iíve learned from many of the old masters like Tan Sri Ting Pek Khiing, Tan Sri Lim Yan Hai and Tan Sri Lin See Yan, and a lot of my fatherís friends. I feel honoured to have been able to receive some of the wisdom of these people and I continue to learn from them. In fact, when I get stuck on something I call them up and say, ĎUncle, now what?í And they are quite glad to see that Iím trying to make something of my life and my career and they are always willing to help."
In response to the question whether being the Transport Ministerís son had given him an "unfair advantage" in the corporate world, Hee Leongís response was as follows:
"I think every father tries to open doors for his son, whoever the father may be. If he knows a few more friends, he is in a position to open a few more doors. And Ďunfair advantageí I think, is an unfair comment. There is nothing unfair in this world. Everything is relative and unfairness is quite subjective. Those who benefit donít feel itís unfair but those who donít benefit say it is."
In view of these very startling statements and admissions by Hee Leong, it is even more incumbent on Liong Sikís part to give a full statement as to what role he had played in his sonís meteoric appearance in the corporate scene at the age of 27 where without any track record he could embark on corporate acquisitions exceeding RM1.2 billion.
One question which the press have repeatedly asked me in the last few days is who is the next Barisan Nasional leader against whom I would be lodging an ACA report.
Let me make it very clear that I have no intention to lodge any ACA report against any Barisan Nasional leader.
The MCA publicity machinery has started its propaganda accusing me of trying to capitalise on the governmentís all-out war against corruption by targetting Ling Liong Sik.
Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, I had no intention whatsoever to lodge any ACA report with regard to Ling Hee Leongís RM1.2 billion corporate wealth, but I was forced to do so as an act of self-defence in response to the baseless allegations and insinuations made by Liong Sik against me for financial impropriety with regard to the collection during the Teluk Intan by-election to pay the RM29,960 legal costs to Liong Sik.
I feel sad that despite my warning to Liong Sik that "those who stay in glass houses should not throw stones", the Transport Minister continued to recklessly make insinuations, asserting who was to know whether DAP had raised not just RM30,000 but RM3 million from the people of Teluk Intan, with the clear implication that I had squirrelled away the balance of the money.
This has left me with no option to defend myself as to invite Liong Sik to a rendezvous at the ACA, for him to lodge an ACA report against me and for me to lodge an ACA report asking for full investigations about Ling Hee Leongís RM1.2 billion corporate wealth.
I still welcome Liong Sik to lodge an ACA report so that ACA could initiate investigations whether the DAP had collected RM3 million from the voters of Teluk Intan during the by-election and that I had pocketted the balance of the money apart from the RM29,960 legal costs meant for Liong Sik.