Two questions on ACA's six-year investigations into the RM11 billion Perwaja
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Sunday): It is good news
that the Swiss government has agreed to co-operate with the Anti-Corruption
Agency (ACA) in its investigations into the Perwaja Steel scandal
in connection with the transfer of RM76.4 million to a non-existent company
in Hong Kong via another company in Japan and subsequent final transfer
to a Swiss bank account of a firm registered in the British Virgin Islands.
ACA director-general Datuk Ahmad Zaki Husin said in Penang
yesterday that the ACA hoped that with the help of the Swiss authorities,
some light could be shed and the ACA investigations into Perwaja could
"shift into full gear".
Ahmad Zaki's statement is quite extraordinary as it gives the
impression that the ACA's investigations into the RM11 Perwaja Steel
scandal, which ranks as the biggest financial scandal in the nation's history,
completely hinge on one item concerning the transfer of RM76.4 million
to a non-existent account and that the entire ACA investigations stand
or fall on this item.
Malaysians would want Ahmad Zaki to throw more light on ACA's six-year
investigations into the RM 11 billion Perwaja Steel scandal on two matters:
The Accountant-General's Federal Public Accounts 1998 showed that as at
the end of 1998, Malaysian taxpayers were burdened with Perwaja's
RM9.1 billion liabilities, comprising RM4.01 billion direct loans to Perwaja
Terengganu Sdn. Bhd., RM105 million direct loan to Equal Concept Sdn. Bhd.
and RM5.1 billion in government-guaranteed borrowings from local and foreign
banks. Current accumulated losses and liabilities should exceed RM11
billion by now. Are ACA's investigations into the RM11 billion Perwaja
scandal hinge solely on the RM76.4 million item and that it has no
leads whatsoever on other corruption and malpractices in Perwaja?
What is the outcome of ACA's questioning of former Perwaja Steel Sdn Bhd
chairman Tan Sri Eric Chia at the end of last year. ACA director
of investigations Abdul Razak Idris said in September last year that
a team of officers would meet Chia "as soon as possible" following
Chia's statement in the Singapore Straits Times on his readiness
to testify in court and "tell all" about the nation's biggest financial
scandal. Did the ACA special squad get to question Chia at all after
his interview with the Singapore press?
*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman