DAP MPs to demand in March Parliament for the identity of the Sarawak Federal deputy minister who lied that he is not under ACA investigation and guilty of dishonest and unethical political conduct
by Lim Kit Siang
(Parliament, Wednesday): The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has called for an end to media speculation and “prosecution” of deputy ministers being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) on the ground that it is unfair to the person being investigated who would be viewed as guilty by the public although he may not be so.
A fortnight ago, outgoing Sarawak ACA director Mohd Jamidan Abdullah revealed that a federal deputy minister from Sarawak was being investigated by ACA under Section 11(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1997 since November last year.
As there are only five Federal deputy ministers from Sarawak, viz., Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum (Foreign Affairs), Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew (Housing and Local Government), Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas (Transport) and Joseph Entulu Belaun (Prime Minister’s Department) apart from Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe (Rural and Regional Development), everyone of the five came under a cloud and public suspicion.
I myself asked Robert Lau whether he was “the one out of the five” when I met him at the special Parliament sitting on 17th January, which he strenuously denied.
All the other four had also, like Robert Lau, made their public denials of being investigated by the ACA. They recently sent a joint letter of “regret” to the Prime Minister about the ACA disclosure, claiming their collective and individual innocence of being subject to ACA probe.
The ACA statement yesterday is very interesting, confirming that a deputy minister was under ACA investigation although it clarified that the original disclosure by Jamidan on Jan 11 was in response to a question by a reporter on whether the ACA was investigating any political leaders.
DAP MPs will demand in the March Parliament for the identity of the Sarawak Federal deputy minister who lied that he is not under ACA investigation and therefore guilty of dishonest and unethical political conduct. The issue here is not whether he is guilty or otherwise of corruption, which is the subject of ACA investigation, but his dishonest and unethical political conduct of telling a public lie, denying that he was under ACA probe when in fact he is.
DAP MPs will also question in the next parliamentary meeting the number of Ministers, deputy ministers and parliamentary secretaries who have been investigated by the ACA since Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became the Prime Minister on Oct. 31, 2003 – as the ACA has also confirmed a second deputy minister under ACA investigation in connection with a RM1.6 million TNB contract.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman