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ACA is a mere
“toothless tiger” if it cannot investigate as to whether Osu Sukam, former
Sabah Chief Minister and Federal Minister for Land and Co-operatives had
corruptly amassed such astronomical wealth as to enable him to gamble
hundreds of millions of ringgit in various London and Australian casinos a
year after political retirement
(Parliament, Wednesday): Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman announced yesterday that former Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Osu Sukam, who faces a RM7.1 million gambling debts overseas, has resigned as chief of Papar UMNO division, and he regards the matter as “closed, once and for all”.
Musa Aman cannot be more wrong, as the astronomical Osu Sukam gambling sprees and debts abroad is far from closed, being still very open and alive, despite his resignation with immediate effect as Papar UMNO division chairman. This is not a personal matter, as claimed by the Parliament Speaker, Tan Sri Ramli Ngah when rejecting my motion yesterday to adjourn Parliament for an emergency debate on Osu’s gambling sprees and debts.
As I said in Parliament yesterday, it is a matter of great public interest to ascertain how the national integrity system had failed to prevent corruption and abuses of power as evident in Osu’s case - how a former Sabah Chief Minister and Federal Minister for Land and Co-operatives could amassed such astronomical wealth as to gamble RM158.7 million, lose RM31.6 million and run up RM7.1 million debts in a London casino a year after political retirement, apart from bigger gambling debts in other casinos.
It has now been revealed that Osu was not only gambling hundreds of millions of ringgit in several London casinos, but also in Australia.
New Straits Times today reported that “A gambling debt of an undisclosed amount owed by Datuk Seri Osu Sukam to a casino in Melbourne has been settled, a week after a London casino failed to recover RM7.1 million from him”.
The NST report, under the headline “Osu’s Melbourne casino debt settled” said:
“The New Straits Times understands that the matter was resolved in the High Court today.
“It is unclear if the former Sabah Chief Minister paid the debt in full.
“Few details were available as the terms of the settlement were confidential.
“When contacted in Melbourne, Crown Casino media director Gary O’Neil said the casino considered the matter closed.
“’As far as Crown is concerned, the matter has reached its conclusion,’ he said.
“’The terms of the settlement are confidential.’
“He would not comment further on the case saying, ‘It is the policy of the Crown Casino not to discuss the Malaysian business relations of our customers.’”
The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) will be held up as a mere “toothless tiger” in this case if it cannot investigate as to whether the former Sabah Chief Minister and Federal Minister for Land and Co-operatives had corruptly and illegally amassed such astronomical wealth as to enable him to gamble hundreds of millions of ringgit in various London and Australian casinos a year after political retirement
Will there be UMNO delegates who are really committed to support the campaign by the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for a new culture of political integrity and zero tolerance for corruption who are prepared to raise the Osu Sukam gambling scandals during the UMNO general assembly next week, in particular to demand a full ACA investigation as to how Osu could amass such astronomical wealth when his monthly salary as Sabah Chief Minister was RM24,000 or RM576,000 for two years?
The following is Osu’s history of public life:
In his 15 years in various public offices from Deputy Works Minister in 1986 to Sabah Chief Minister 1999-2001, Osu would have at least made four declarations of his assets to the Prime Minister. All these four declaration of assets to the Prime Minister should be the basis on which the ACA should launch a thorough investigation as to whether Osu had corruptly and illegally amassed such astronomical wealth as to enable him to gamble hundreds of millions of ringgit in various casinos in London and Australia a year after his political retirement.
At issue is not just about Osu Sukam, but the
efficacy of the anti-corruption prevention system, agencies and laws, in
particular whether the periodic declaration of assets by Ministers, Deputy
Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Chief Ministers and Mentri-mentri
Besar to one man, the Prime Minister, is satisfactory and successful in
ensuring the integrity of national and state political leaders or whether
the time has come for a public declaration by all Ministers, Deputy
Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, MPs, Chief Ministers, Mentris Besar
and State Assembly members on an annual or periodic basis.