When will Malaysia have the first case of confiscation of the multi-million ringgit ill-gotten gains of the corrupt ?

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday):
New Straits Times
today carried the front-page headline banner "RM10m in ill-gotten gains confiscated - More seizures of suspected traffickers’ assets expected".

The report states that Police have seized more than RM10 million in assets in Johore, Penang, Kelantan, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, belonging to some of the 25 suspected traffickers arrested recently and that this is the biggest ever seizure of ill-gotten gains from dadah trafficking.

Between June 1 and 14, Federal and State police carried out a series of operations to round up the suspected traffickers and seized the assets under the Dangerous Drugs (Forfeiture of Property) Act 1988.

The Act allows the police to confiscate money, jewellery, vehicles, share certificates, bonds and property believed to have been bought from the sale of dadah.

Police have also moved to freeze the bank accounts of the traffickers.

The report said that top Federal police officials are elated with the success of the joint Federal-State police swoop on the traffickers, as the forfeiture in assets, so far, represents about 19 per cent of the RM54 million confiscated from dadah barons and peddlars since 1988.

A top Federal police source told the New Straits Times: "This is just the beginning. The next couple of weeks will see more seizures" as the assets seized were only from about half of the 25 traffickers arrested in the recent operations.

DAP congratulates the Police for its success in confiscating the ill-gotten gains of dadah traffickers which, since 1988 and up to February this year, include 20 houses, 19.13 ha of land, vehicles, jewellery and cash.

At a time when the government is conducting an all-out war against corruption, the question that immediately comes to mind of all Malaysians is when Malaysia is going to have the first case of confiscation of the multi-million-ringgit ill-gotten gains of the corrupt.

It has taken the Police about ten years to confiscate RM54 million ill-gotten gains of the drug traffickers.

I have no doubt that if the Anti-Corruption Agency is given full powers to confiscate the ill-gotten gains of the corrupt, particularly those who have accumulated extraordinary wealth completely disproportionate to their known legal sources of income, it would need only one or two years to confiscate RM54 million ill-gotten gains of the corrupt in the country.

Unless and until the confiscation of the multimillion-ringgit ill-gotten gains of the corrupt in Malaysia become as common as the confiscation of the ill-gotten gains of the dadah barons and peddlars, Malaysia’s all-out war against corruption cannot be said to be set on track yet.

On Sunday, the Acting Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim reaffirmed in Batu Pahat his commitment to wipe out "all corrupt practices among politicians and government servants" to ensure the smooth implementation of government policies.

He said the government will not allow anyone to betray the mandate given the government by the people or to exploit any projects or share allocation for personal gain.

He said: "Gone are the days of popular politicians and government servants pocketting government funds for personal gains or manipulating government contracts for family and friends.

"It is about time the bigger players in the world of corruption, be they politicians or government servants, faced the music."

If the "bigger players in the world of corruption" are to "face the music", then it is time for the first case of confiscation of the multi-million ringgit ill-gotten gains of the corrupt in the country.


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