Immediate test of ACA’s new transparency – what is the outcome of its six-year investigation into Ling Liong Sik and Ling Hee Leong with regard to latter’s RM1.2 billion corporate acquisitions in a matter of months at the age of 27 years old
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The pledge by the Anti-Corruption Agency on new transparency to be more responsive towards public demand for information about its investigations must be taken with a big pinch of salt.
The three measures which the agency has come up to address public concern for more transparency are:
While welcoming the ACA’s pledge of more open policy, Malaysians are understandably skeptical that these three measures would lead to greater ACA accountability and transparency or could arrest the grave erosion of public confidence in its efficiency, effectiveness, independence and professionalism.
In March, I had called for legislative changes to require the ACA to be more forthcoming in Parliament about its investigations, particularly in outstanding cases involving VIPs in view of the numerous high-profile cases which seemed to have reached a dead end of being permanently “KIV-ed”, with Parliament and the public kept completely in the dark about the outcome of ACA investigations, which is the single biggest reason for the long-standing crisis of confidence in the professionalism, independence and integrity of the ACA.
The ACA’s policy of new
transparency is being put to the test immediately, as I am asking for an
urgent meeting with the ACA director-general to find out the outcome of my
ACA report six years ago on 13th June 1997, which initiated ACA
investigations as to how Ling Hee Leong, son of the then 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.
It is not myself alone, but all Malaysians, who are entitled to know the outcome of these ACA and police reports.
I had repeatedly asked what had happened to these reports and their investigations, contending that even if the ACA could not complete its investigations into Ling, it is duty-bound to explain to Parliament the difficulties and obstacles causing these files to remain in the "Incomplete but Open" basket!
The nation was scandalized in the March meeting of Parliament when in answer to a question by DAP MP for Seputeh, Teresa Kok, on the outcomes of the various outstanding ACA investigations concerning Ling, the then Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Douglas Uggah Embas said ACA investigations against Ling were confidential and details would not be made public until charges are filed in court under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1997
The three-point ACA decision to be more open and transparent with regard to its investigations had at least proven the DAP right in our persistence and tenacity in demanding ACA’s public accountability in high-profile investigations, as the secretiveness and inconclusive investigations make a mockery of government profession of a clean, efficient and trustworthy administration. DAP will persist in demanding ACA accountability on the outcome of it various investigations into Ling.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman