DAP invites Mahathir to commission a nation-wide opinion poll to gauge public perceptions on the trustworthiness, credibility, independence and professionalism of ACA 22 years after his premiership
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Saturday): The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad yesterday made a most unwarranted attack on me when he commented on my statement expressing dissatisfaction that ACA had closed investigations as it had found “no offence disclosed” in my June 1997 report on former MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik, and his son Hee Leong on the latter’s corporate acquisitions exceeding RM1.2 billion in a matter of months when at the age of 27 and whether there had been improper use and influence of his father’s political and Ministerial position.
This is the report in The Star today:
Dr Mahathir was also asked to comment on DAP chairman Lim Kit Siang’s statement that he was not satisfied with the Anti-Corruption Agency over its investigation of alleged wrong-doing by former Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ling Long Sik and his son, Hee Leong.
The ACA had cleared them of any wrong-doing following its investigations on corporate acquisitions amounting to RM1.2bil in 1997.
Dr Mahathir said that if Lim did not trust the ACA, who was he going to trust?
“For Kit Siang, everything is political. It is not a question of law, or right or wrong,” he said.
If Mahathir wanted to comment on my dissatisfaction with the ACA, he should have addressed the two reasons which I had given, viz:
What is Mahathir’s stand on the lightning change of ACA position in a matter of hours on Wednesday after my meeting with ACA officials that it had cleared Liong Sik and Hee Leong of any wrongdoing, as the Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian the next day reported the ACA Director of Investigations, Datuk Nordin Ismail denying that ACA investigations had been closed, saying that they have been re-opened after my second report last June.
Mahathir should clarify what is he endorsing – the ACA closing of the investigations into Liong Sik and Hee Leong or the ACA re-opening of investigations into the two?
ACA has thoroughly confused the Malaysian public with its lightning change of position on the status of its investigations into Liong Sik and Hee Leong, and this is why I had immediately on Thursday written to the ACA Director-General Datuk Zulkpli Mat Noor that I would revisit the ACA headquarters in Putrajaya on Monday at 11 a.m. to find out what exactly is happening about these ACA investigations.
Mahathir best describes himself when he made the accusation that for me, “everything is political – it is not a question of law, or right or wrong”, as illustrated by a long catalogue of unresolved and unaccounted Cabinet scandals, such as:
If Mahathir is serious about public perceptions, trust and confidence in the ACA, he should not indulge in rhetorical questions like “If Lim did not trust the ACA, who is he going to trust”, but should commission a nation-wide opinion poll to gauge public perceptions on the trustworthiness, credibility, independence and professionalism of ACA 22 years after his premiership.
Would Mahathir allow ACA to carry out such a public opinion poll to chart and ascertain public confidence and trust in the agency during the 22 years of his premiership?
When I re-visit the ACA in Putrajaya on Monday, this will be one of the proposals the DAP memorandum on the ACA and corruption would highlight in order to conduct a serious war against graft and to create a culture of integrity in public life with zero tolerance for corruption.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman