(Petaling Jaya, Friday): The Minister in the Prime Minister’s
Department, Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim deserves commendation if he can bring about
legislative changes binding enforcement agencies like the Anti-Corruption Agency
to provide regular updates on the status and outcome of their investigations
into corrupt practices, not just to government but to Parliament.
who told Malaysiakini that he is
working on such a proposal, said the progress
reports will ensure that the government and those who lodge complaints against
corruption know what is happening to the cases.
is a need to create a mood of what to expect next after lodging a complaint with
any of these agencies because only then can public confidence be restored. But
the agencies must first be more open and transparent.
in the midst of creating a module of action requiring them to provide scheduled
progress reports on their investigations and need a bit more time to put
together a proper mechanism.”
legislative back-up to amend the Anti-Corruption Act 1997, for instance, it is
dubious that mere administrative measures can bring about any fundamental
changes in the accountability and transparency
of enforcement agencies like the ACA to the Malaysian public.
most appropriate way to ensure the accountability and transparency of
enforcement agencies like the ACA with regard to its investigations into
complaints about corruption is to impose a statutory requirement to present
regular reports to Parliament and to be subject to Parliamentary oversight and
scrutiny, as by way of a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Corruption and
specific parliamentary debate and scrutiny.
the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir
Mohamad said he agreed that there was some truth to claims made by Rais that
government enforcement agencies had sat on high-profile cases involving criminal
breach of trust.
said that some of the things brought up by Rais were based on
facts and he promised to “look into them”.
question is how Mahathir is going to “look” into the
long-outstanding high-profile cases and how is he going to account to the
Malaysian public the ACA investigations which seemed to have gone nowhere, whether the
RM 10 billion Perwaja Scandal or my ACA report 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.
Is Mahathir going to present a White
Paper in Parliament on June 17 listing and
explaining the status report of each high-profile case, whether Rais’ list of 21
outstanding high-profile cases or better still, a full list of the outcome of
all reports which had been lodged against Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers
in the past decade.
I have been asking for the outcome of
the ACA investigations into my 1997 report both inside and outside Parliament in
the past five years, but all to no avail. Is Mahathir prepared to “look
into” this outstanding high-profile case and let the Malaysian public know
what has happened to the ACA
investigations into Liong Sik and Hee Leong?
In fact, Malaysians are entitled to ask
whether the ACA has re-opened investigations into my ACA report in 1997 since
the return of Soh Chee Wen, the one-time protégé of Liong Sik who claims to
have intricate and intimate business relationships with Liong Sik and Hee Leong.
Malaysiakini report on Tuesday
(28.5.02) from an interview with Soh referred to my ACA report in 1997, and it
”It was around that time that opposition party DAP lodged a report against Ling with the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).
”And what was Ling's reaction?
"’He asked me to assist him in not implicating him in the ACA
investigations and to omit stating both Ling and his wife's roles and the benefits derived by them from the previous deals,’ recalled Soh.
”He said he abided by that request out of ‘fear of losing my posts in MCA’.
“But, ‘in hindsight, I regret my doing so and I intend to put things right by disclosing the true picture to the ACA in due course’, he said.”
If Soh was telling the truth, then it
discloses Ling committing an offence of obstructing the ACA investigations.
Section 19(1) of the Anti-Corruption
Act 1997 reads:
“19*1) Where any person makes or
causes any other person to make to an officer of the Agency or to the Public
Prosecutor, in the course of such officer or Public Prosecutor exercising any
power conferred by this Act, any statement which to the knowledge of the person
making the statement, or causing the statement to be made –
is false, or intended to
shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine
not exceeding one hundred thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding ten years or to both.”
The ACA should publicly explain
firstly, whether it had re-opened investigations into my 1997
ACA report against Liong Sik and Hee Leong with the return of Soh Chee Wen and secondly, whether the ACA
is investigating Ling for committing an offence under Section 19 of the
Anti-Corruption Act as a result of Soh Chee Wen’s interview with Malaysiakini
disclosing an offence liable on conviction to the maximum
sentence of RM100,000 fine or ten
years’ jail or both.