Zulkipli Mat Noor should be the first ACA director-general in 36 years to face a parliamentary motion to cut his salary by RM10 in the 2004 budget debate next month if he cannot resolve the two conflicting versions on the status of ACA investigations on Ling Liong Sik and Hee Leong within a week
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Wednesday): Dato Zulkipli bin Mat Noor should be the first Anti-Corruption Agency director-general in 36 years to face a parliamentary motion to cut his salary by RM10 in the 2004 budget debate next month if he cannot resolve within a week the two conflicting versions on the status of ACA investigations into my six-year report on the RM1.2 billion corporate acquisitions by 27-year-old Ling Hee Leong in a matter of months and whether there had been improper Ministerial and political influence by his father, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik as Transport Minister and MCA President.
It has become simply outrageous and scandalous that the ACA director-general and the top ACA leadership could continue to keep mum, playing the 21st century role of the traditional three monkeys of having eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not, and refusing to resolve the two conflicting versions, viz:
The ACA was paralyzed for the past week by the two conflicting versions as to whether my 1997 ACA report on Liong Sik and Hee Leong is closed or re-opened for investigations, which reflects most adversely on the whole ACA leadership and set-up, not calculated to enhance public confidence in its efficiency, effectiveness, competence, independence and professionalism.
When the ACA announced its new policy of transparency and accountability on July 9, I had expressed great skepticism but was prepared to give the ACA the benefit of the doubt. I decided to put the new ACA policy to an immediate test by demanding for proper accountability on the outcome of my six-year ACA report on Liong Sik and Hee Liong. It is sad and most deplorable that the ACA:s new policy of transparency and accountability could not survive even for one month, having failed its first public test and scrutiny.
Two issues dominated the first month of the ACA’s new policy of transparency and accountability to be more responsive towards public demand for information about its investigations, including keeping all complainants informed on the status of investigations and the ACA issuing statements about cases that are still under investigation. Both do not enhance public confidence in the ACA’s credibility, integrity, independence and professionalism.
These two high-profile issues were firstly, the two conflicting versions about the six-year ACA investigations into Liong Sik and Hee Leong and secondly, the lightning investigation and exoneration of the Penang Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Hilmi Yahya of any abuse of power, less than two weeks from the start of ACA investigations on the basis of completion of 85 per cent of the probe!
In my two visits to the ACA headquarters in Putrajaya in the past one week, DAP leaders had come up against a silent wall when we asked whether ACA had initiated investigations whether into the award of a multi-million ringgit logging concession to UMNO Pahang five years ago under the then Pahang Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob, as reported recently by Malaysiakini or into the RM140 million East Coast school computer laboratory scandal and fiasco where construction was not only behind schedule by two years, 574 of the 600 computer laboratories built in the zone are not safe and in danger of collapse.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim had publicly said that the Cabinet had directed the ACA to conduct investigations into the computer laboratory scandal to determine if any irregularities or misuse of power had occurred. (New Straits Times 25.7.03)
What credibility, integrity and professionalism can ACA expect to enjoy among Malaysians when ACA officials dare not even answer questions from Members of Parliament as to whether ACA had started investigations into the computer lab scandal as directed by the Cabinet?
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman