Mahathir must answer the serious charge that the  OSA is being used to protect corruption and explain why he had shielded Rafidah Aziz from prosecution on five corruption charges

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): The explanation  by the Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz in Parliament yesterday that there is no reason for her  son-in-law, Fazrin Azwar, to return shares allotted to him under the bumiputra shares allotment scheme as he is entitled to them is no defence at all.

This is because Rafidah  had failed to address the most important reason for Fazrinís disentitlement for the shares - abuse of power and corruption.

Rafidah was being disingenuous when asked in Parliament yesterday about the recommendation of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA)  that there was prima facie case to prosecute her for corruption in connection with the allotment of the shares to her son-in-law, claiming that "nobody knows what is in the secret documents" and that "the subject matter of the document is not something we should be discussing in Parliament".

Rafidah is wrong as the issue of the allocation of shares to her son-in-law and the recommendation by the ACA that there is prima facie case for her prosecution for corruption are the very issues which should be discussed in Parliament.

In actual fact, during the debate on the second batch of 1999 supplementary estimates on July  20, 1999, I had specifically raised the issue which Rafidah failed to give an adequate and satisfactory response yesterday.

I had focussed during my parliamentary speech on the police report lodged by former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (Dang Wangi Police Station, Report No. 20255/99) on 9th July 1999 making the very serious allegation of  interference with  justice  by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the  Attorney General  Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah  in shielding Rafidah  Aziz from being  prosecuted in court on five corruption charges.
I told Parliament that Anwar  had referred to a document of the Prosecution Division, Attorney General's Office dated 14 March, 1995 signed by Abdul Gani Patail, which was  handed him  when he was Deputy Prime Minister by Attorney General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah towards the end of 1995. The document clearly stated there was prima facie basis to prosecute Dato Paduka Rafidah Aziz, the Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) on five counts of corruption under Section  2(2),Ordinance 22, 1970.
In his report, Anwar said the Attorney General did not proceed with the charges due to the interference of the Prime Minister, Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir Muhammad as a result of which the prosecution of Dato Paduka Rafidah Aziz could not as
yet be carried to completion. As such, the failure to do so in accordance with the provisions of the law  tantamounts to Mahathir and  Mohtar Abdullah having interfered in the carrying out of justice and acted against the  provisions of the law.
In January this year, Parti  Keadilan Nasional youth chief,  Mohamad Ezam Mohamad Nor was charged under the Official Secrets Act for disclosing classified Anti-Corruption Agency reports to reporters last November - one of which was in connection with ACA investigations into  Rafidah Aziz.

Ezam may or may not be guilty technically of an offence under the  Official Secrets Act, but the more important question is why the ACAís recommendations for the prosecution of Rafidah for corruption had not been acted upon.

The Prime Minister must answer the  serious charge that the Official Secrets Act is being used to protect corruption and explain why he had shielded Rafidah Aziz from prosecution on five corruption charges.

*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman