(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik yesterday rebutted allegations that the country practises nepotism. He said that if this is the case then all those who have benefitted from the National Economic Policy (NEP) were involved in such practices.
He said that the NEP was a fair programme carried out by the government which saw the equal distribution of wealth among all the ethnic groups, and as such it is unfair to say that the government only affords wealth to certain people.
Liong Sik is insulting the intelligence of Malaysians by deliberately misunderstanding the meaning of nepotism, which has been defined as "favouritism shown to relatives or friends in conferring offices or privileges" so that he could avoid the issue.
He is only following the example of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who said last Saturday that all Malaysians who have benefitted from the government policies are his "cronies". For instance, he said, he has "six million cronies through Permodalan Nasional Bhd." as some six million bumiputras have been able to invest in shares of all the companies.
It is a pity that former Philippines President Marcos and former Indonesian President Suharto had not thought of such "creative" definition of nepotism and cronyism, although it is unlikely that their end would have been very different even if they had been able to produce such creative definitions to rebut national and international condemnation of KKN - corruption, collusion and nepotism - under their rule.
What is more pertinent is whether the MCA President and Transport Minister supports my proposal for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry on Nepotism with special focus on the children of Mahathir, namely Mirzan, Mokhzani and Mukhriz as well as the alleged Lim Kit Siang/Lim Guan Eng nepotism.
Furthermore, will Liong Sik agree that this Royal Commission of Inquiry into Nepotism should also focus on 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 and whether there had been improper use and influence of his father's political and Ministerial position.
I had repeatedly asked Liong Sik to make a full statement as to 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 Liong had said publicly that "Ninety-nine per cent of the time I wonít do anything without my fatherís blessing" but there has been stony silence from the MCA President.
I had in fact lodged a report with the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) last June asking the ACA to conduct full investigations into this Ling Liong Sik/Ling Hee Leong connection, but as the ACA does not seem to be able to make any headway, apart from its revelation in June last year that its check with the Registrar of Companies revealed that Hee Leong had interests in 23 companies, it would be most appropriate for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Nepotism to conduct a full probe.
Is Liong Sik or Hee Leong prepared to make public all Hee Leong's 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 on 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 was one of his corporate "role models".
It is in this interview where he is quoted as saying:
The Royal Commission of Inquiry should also investigate the relationships of Datuk Soh Chee Wen with Liong Sik and Hee Leong, as Chee Wen, who is under investigations by the Malaysian authorities for violating securities laws, undergoing nearly 70 hours of questioning over the previous two weeks, had told the Asian Wall Street Journal that he had been forced out of all MCA party positions because of his strained ties with Hee Leong, who was his one-time business partner.