(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.
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
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?