Call for White Paper in Parliament on June 17 on status report of  investigations into all high-profile cases  in the past decade – in particular ACA investigations into Ling Liong Sik, Ling Hee Leong and Soh Chee Wen

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Saturday)The statement by the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday that the Government has never dismissed or set aside any high-profile cases which require lengthy and thorough investigations must have  been taken with a big pinch of salt by  Malaysians.  

Abdullah said  police and other enforcement agencies worked without fear or favour, giving emphasis to fair and comprehensive investigations.  

He said: “Enforcement agencies like the police and the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) must be thorough when gathering evidence. If there is enough evidence, appropriate action will definitely be taken against those involved. That is something which we cannot avoid.

“However, we must allow. the enforcement agencies to proceed with their investigations if they require more time before concluding any cases.”

In preparation to become the next Prime Minister, Abdullah is having a lot of practice of  saying a lot without meaning anything. The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Rais Yatim is more honest when he called on gvernment enforcement agencies not to  sit on cases involving criminal breach of trust (CBT) or elements of cheating as  his ministry had received feedback from the public that 21 cases had been investigated for a long time and had yet to be brought to the courts.

As Abdullah has acknowledged that the public are asking what had happened to the many high-profile cases, some of which had dragged out for years and even coming close to a decade like the RM10 billion  Perwaja scandal, the government should present a White Paper when Parliament reconvenes on June 17 to give a status report of the investigations into  all the high-profile cases in the past 10 years.

Malaysians in particular would want to know the outcome of ACA investigations into  the report I lodged on  13th June 1997,  asking for full investigations as to how Ling Hee Leong, son of MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik, could at the age of 27 embark on corporate acquisitions exceeding RM1.2 billion in a matter of months and whether there had been improper use and influence of his father’s political and Ministerial position.

I had said at the time that if Ling Hee Leong was able at the age of 27, without any track record,  to have the prowess to embark on over RM1.2 billion corporate acquisitions in a matter of months completely on his own merit, then he should be an exemplary model for all aspiring entrepreneurs in Malaysia and ACA should show the whole country in its report how Ling Hee Leong could have catapulted into the billion-ringgit bracket of the corporate stratosphere without any improper political or Ministerial influence of his father.

I had the next day after lodging the police report congratulated the ACA for its “new-found efficiency” as I had been contacted by the ACA and informed that  it wanted to immediately start investigations.   But it is now nearly five years and this high-profile file has been collecting dust in the ACA for the past few years.

I do not know whether the long-standing and going-nowhere ACA investigations into Liong Sik and Hee Liong is one of the 21 inconclusive high-profile cases mentioned by Rais,  but it is one which immediately comes to public mind especially with the recent return to the country of businessman Soh Chee Wen who claims intimate and intricate business relationships with Liong Sik and Hee Liong.

Has the ACA re-opened its investigation file on Liong Sik and Hee Liong and have the  ACA officers interrogated Soh since his “high-profile” return for assistance  in connection with this case?


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman