It was because of Liong Sikís baseless and irresponsible repetition of his allegation and insinuation that the DAP had collected RM3 million from the people of Teluk Intan in the by-election last month to pay his RM29,960 legal costs and that I had squirrelled away the rest of the money that had led to the series of events resulting in my ACA report for full investigations as to how his son, Ling Hee Leong, 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.
It is now a full week since I invited Liong Sik to a rendezvous at the ACA headquarters last Friday and I am still waiting for Liong Sik to lodge a formal ACA report to enable the ACA to conduct full investigations into his allegation that the DAP had collected RM3 million from the people of Teluk Intan in the by-election to pay his RM29,960 legal costs and that I had pocketted the balance of the money.
Let Liong Sik take a final decision whether he wants to pursue his baseless and irresponsible allegation and insinuation against me. If yes, he should forthwith go to the ACA to lodge a formal report; and if not, he should withdraw and apologise for his baseless and irresponsible allegation and insinuation against me in the next 24 hours!
I am surprised that Ling Hee Leong had stayed away from the "Tell-All" Press Conference which I had arranged for him in Parliament House yesterday, as he had publicly invited 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 or Ministerial influence of his father.
As Hee Leong had publicly said that "Ninety-nine per cent of the time I wonít do anything without my fatherís blessing", had Liong Sik vetoed Hee Leong from attending the "Tell-All" Press Conference in Parliament yesterday, and if so, why?
If there is no conflict-of-interest whatsoever between the father and son in Hee Leongís billion-ringgit meteoric corporate appearance at the age of 27 and in a period of three months despite not having any track record, why was Hee Leong reluctant to attend the "Tell-All" Press Conference yesterday, after publicly inviting reporters to ask him all the questions they want?
In his interview in the April 1997 issue of Journal One under the front-page cover story "The Lings - The Legacy Continues", Hee Leong was refreshingly honest in not being apologetic at all about his advantages in the corporate world because of his relationship as the son of the Transport Minister.
This is the full quotation of Hee Leong comments when Journal One raised "the nagging issue that being the Transport Ministerís son has given Hee Leong an unfair advantage in the corporate world":
"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 "unfair advantage" 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.
"I have been living with this all my life. Since the day I was born, my father has been in politics. It has become a part of my life. I donít know any other way of life. I enjoy it. Of course, there are the pros and cons of being my fatherís son. I think the pros are 99% and the cons only 1%. Itís a privilege, actually.
"However much I try to do everything above board, the public will think, ĎAh, this is so-and-soís kid, so the father must be helping him.í I myself am guilty of thinking that way so I donít blame the public for doing the same. But I stay out of any business related to transport although there is great potential in it. Since going into business, I have had to set my principles and my guidelines. One of them is not to in any way jeopardise the thirty years of hard work that my father has put into his career and I think thatís fair."
It is precisely Hee Leong should not jeopardise his fatherís 30-year political career that he should not renege on his public undertaking to tell the reporters everything about his RM1.2 billion corporate acquisitions.
Hee Leong must be commended for being a very conscientious son in taking the decision to stay out of any business related to transport as his father is Transport Minister.
However, Malaysians want to know what are the various loans which Hee Leong had taken 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 - and most important of all, whether these "Uncles" of Hee Leong who had been so helpful by giving him these massive loans had any business related to transport.
The ACA Director-General, Datuk Shafee Yahya had told TV3 that the ACA would first summon directors of the four companies where Hee Leong had acquired substantial stakes totalling over RM1.2 billion for questioning before summoning Hee Leong.
The four companies which were the subject of Hee Leongís corporate acquisitions in three months are:
|(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|
An important area the Anti-Corruption Agency should focus on is to get a full list of those who have given the massive loans to enable Hee Leong to embark on RM1.2 billion corporate acquisition in three months, and to establish whether these lenders have any business interest in transport.