This is in keeping with the statement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday that the government is also interested in finding out if anyone has received alleged kickbacks from Mitsui to secure a Telekom Malaysia Bhd. contract.
A full day of debate on such an amendment motion should be held to show Malaysians and the world that the tenth Parliament is taking a most serious view on the allegation of the RM10.6 million Mitsui kickback to Telekom Malaysia.
Furthermore, a clear message must be sent out to the country and the world that the new Parliament would not aid and abet corruption and all forms of abuses of power by sweeping all allegations of corruption under the carpet but would be in the very forefront of investigations to establish their veracity or otherwise.
Parliament’s intervention on the allegation of the RM10.6 million Mitsui kickback to Telekom Malaysia is important as the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) is behaving in a very peculiar way in this case right from the very beginning.
It kept a most extraordinary silence for four days since the first publication
of the allegation by Asahi Shimbun last Friday, and it was only late on
the fifth day on Tuesday, 15th February 2000 after it had been given the
government "green-light" that it came out with a statement that it was
investigating the allegation and that a senior Mitsui executive from Japan
would turn up at the ACA headquarters
the next day to assist in the ACA investigations. But the so-called Mitsui senior executive did not turn up for two days.
It is now reported in the local press that the ACA had interviewed this Mitsui senior executive but outside the ACA premises so as not to expose his identity.
Why should the ACA be so protective of the identity of the Mitsui senior executive? It should be a matter of public concern as to whether such solicitousness to protect the identity of the Mitsui senior executive is reflective of the ACA’s lack of professionalism and independence to get to the bottom of the Telekom kickback allegation.
It will be very sad but another reason for lack of public confidence in the ACA if its investigation into the Telekom kickback allegation is just another "show" without substance.
I welcome the statement by Tunku Abdul Aziz, vice chairman of Transparency International, an independent international anti-corruption body, calling for the blacklisting of Mitsui & Co from all future contracts in Malaysia, if allegations of bribes to a company acting for Telekom Malaysia are found to be true.
He said: "If complicity is proven, blacklisting and barring Mitsui will send a clear signal to all international bidders that Malaysia is totally against bribery."
Aziz, who also heads the Malaysian chapter of Transparency International, urged the Malaysian government to apply the full weight of the law against the guilty parties.
He said:"In this case obviously we need to look at both the giver and the taker because it takes two to tango. For Telekom Malaysia and other state-controlled enterprises there is an urgent need to put into place clear and transparent procedures for procurement."
He suggested that Malaysia should subscribe to the proposed World Trade Organization Transparency Agreement to "close another window of opportunity for grand corruption, improve investor perceptions and provide for better returns in public sector spending."
Four days ago, I had proposed that until the outcome of an independent commission of inquiry into the allegations of Mitsui’s kickback to Telekom Malaysia, both Mitsui and NEC Corp should be blacklisted from all contracts and tenders, not only in connection with Telekom but all other telecommunications contracts in the country.
I am glad that Aziz of Transparency International is of the same thought and I hope that this idea would be taken up by Members of Parliament in the current debate on the Royal Address, especially those from the Barisan Nasional.