Outrageous? Yes, but when the judicial system cannot convict crooks, then crooks will flourish in politics and much else. Systemic change is possible only through radical reform of the police and judiciary to ensure rapid investigation and conviction. But this does not make for popular TV, Was Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil. dragged into media conferences?, presumably for people to take the final call on redefining political morality in Malaysia. Politicians — willy-nilly declared corrupt, and therefore guilty — have their backs to the wall, fighting back to retrieve their remaining reputation But if different allegations are leveled at a dozen politicians, TV anchors and the middle class will suffer from data overload, and their eyes will glaze. saidDatuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob
“We will investigate all companies, regardless of which… I do not want to be specific to that one case only,” he told Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR-Lembah Pantai).My net is bigger but also has big hole Merely chasing the corrupt won’t do any good
Will the Wanita Umno chief expose help end corruption? Or will it be just another rib-tickler that titillates the middle class for a few weeks and is then forgotten? Will politics remainMalaysia’s biggest business by far?
Ismail Sabri not optimistic. Politicians of every party love slinging mud at rivals: as good businessmen, they hope this will improve their market share. But will they cooperate in closing down the business altogether and moving to a less lucrative one? I doubt it. We will Investigate and close the case aside or put on hold is more like it. He made a pledge without giving a timeframe as when it will take place. In other words, no action taken.As new acts unfold on the political theatre, we are left with more questions than answers. What is the stake for us, the common people? Are we mere spectators? In what way do we benefit? Will Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s campaign translate into votes? Or, are we staring at a mirage, where the political slate has been wiped clean of all dirt?
We are supposedly better informed about the evil called corruption and the corrosive effect it has on the nation. But, has anything changed on the ground in the past one year? No. Examples are aplenty.
The negativeness is all too pervasive and it’s only getting worse. More people are asking: why should we vote? Showcasing the corrupt and pronouncing them guilty in public will do little good; it primarily serves as retribution. If any good has to come out of this campaign, there has to be a huge infusion of positiveness. Instead of stalling everything, the campaign has to look at means to get the system moving in the right direction.
There has to be a parallel, and more powerful, movement at the grassroots to identify the good people in the system and encourage them. It may be a good idea for Kejriwal and IAC to publish a list of clean and efficient public servants, especially at village and ward levels. It is more important to bringthem onto the stage and let the world know the enormous amount good they have done to the society.Forget about prosecution by BN Government on UMNO linked companies. These companies are bigger than the Government itself & they only serve UMNO’s interest. They are legitimate companies under the ROC performing illegitimate business for UMNO. No UMNO Minister will take the initiative to prosecute these companies & it will be all talk & no action. It’s time the Rakyat vote wisely to get the corrupted UMNO out of the Government. ABU all the way & let PR lead the prosecution when they take over Putrajaya! Long live PR!
Anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal is many moons away from taking the electoral plunge in an increasingly chaotic multi-party political system in India that has over 40 active outfits and hundreds of dormant ones. With less than two years to go for the next general elections, Kejriwal seems to have added a new narrative to the pre-poll dynamics.
Any election is fought around the issues close to common people. Winnability is a factor that dictates the election manifesto, besides picking candidates. Acts of omission and commission, malfeasance and allegations of corruption are issues that are traded between and among parties. Mrs Indira Gandhi was the first Indian Prime Minister to lose an election after she came under a cloud for alleged electoral malpractices. The next big corruption issue to slay a party was the Bofors gun deal kickbacks.
All other issues — more serious in nature, scale and magnitude, but much less discussed — have caused ripples among the electorate but not enough to cause big waves, much less a tsunami.
Kejriwal has suddenly tasted success envied by political parties. The former IRS officer enjoys many advantages which the political parties lack because they are in the electoral ring: the biggest being an outsider advantage, a revenue officer with a nose for malpractices and, above all, a seemingly serious approach to tackle many strands of corruption.
It’s beside the point that somewhere deep down, Kejriwal, we fear, might be overplaying his hand and his campaign could be overly one-sided. And a streak of megalomania too? But it’s not all too right to prejudge a case since the show has just begun.’
The big question is: how much influence will Kejriwal wield in the upcoming elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, a little later in Karnataka and then the general elections? By taking the Congress head-on, is he singularly splitting the anti-Congress votes which might eventually afford the country’s oldest political parties enough smiles? The jury is still out on this, but indicators are many that it may turn out so.
More important is the well-tested argument that eyeballs needn’t translate into votes. They haven’t. History is replete with examples. Inscrutable voters hold the aces. The battle is getting interesting, and the next few days will expose the political colour of the India Against Corruption. That decides half the battle.
Prime Minister Najib Razak’s refusal to disclose the donor of the S$16 million contraband cash seized at the Hong Kong International airport, following his minister’s earlier acknowledgement of the cash as donation to Sabah Umno, has only heightened suspicion over the web of deceit and cover up of high corruption in the corridor of power.
His minister Nazri Aziz had earlier (Oct 11) given a written reply in parliament denying that the said S$16 million cash was Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman’s money, claiming that it was a donation to Umno party in Sabah instead, even though the carrier of the cash, Michael Chia Tien Foh, was a well known personal agent and close associate of Musa Aman, as will be elaborated later.
In a further attempt to dismiss the notion of any impropriety over the episode, minister Nazri added in his statement that the Malaysian Anti-Corrupition Commission (MACC) has concluded that “no element of corruption was proven”.
However, this statement has glaringly contradicted MACC’s latest stance on the issue, aired only a few days earlier.
Answering questions by reporters on the sideline of the recently concluded Sixth Conference of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA) in Kuala Lumpur, MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Shukri Abdul said on Oct 5: “The investigation against Musa is on corruption and we have completed the investigation, but the panel has instructed us to get more evidence.”
By “the panel”, Shukri Abdul was referring to MACC’s operations review panel, which instructed the operation division to collect further evidence against Musa after being presented with the report on the case during the panel’s last sitting in May.
While MACC’s head of investigation is claiming that it is still in the midst of investigation, how could minister Nazri claim in the same breath that MACC has concluded that there was no evidence of corruption?
Obviously, one of the two is lying; or more likely, both are lying, as there is no credibility in what these two gentlemen have said, if we were to take into consideration the full circumstances of the case.
Nazri is unlikely to have told the truth, as he couldn’t have known more than the head of investigation.
As for Shukri, how serious can we take his word that MACC couldn’t come to a conclusion despite four long years of investigation into a simple case of someone caught red-handed while smuggling an enormous sum of laundered cash? After all, evidence galore in the Internet of the intricate network of money flow originating from timber corruption in Sabah with Michael Chia as one of the focal points of the trail that eventually ends up in Musa Aman’s personal account in UBS AG in Zurich.
In fact, a flow chart showing these money movements complete with account details was produced by the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), a copy of which has been conveyed to MACC, according to Sarawak Report website, which has also posted the chart in http://www.sarawakreport.org/2012/04/hold-on-trust-for-aman-more-devastating-evidence-from-the-icac-investigation/. It is not difficult to see from this elaborate network of bank accounts and money transactions that the S$16 million incident is only the tip of the iceberg of a clandestine operation to siphon massive timber corruption money from Sabah.
Apparently, ICAC has also forwarded its findings to MACC, and requested for inter-country co-operation to wrap up the case, but such attempt was reportedly blocked by Attorney General Gani Patail.
Can MACC deny that it is in possession of the fruits of ICAC’s laborious investigations into the case including the said money flow chart that conclusively crucifies Musa Aman? Perhaps the parliamentary select committee on corruption should summon MACC chief commissioner Abu Kassim to answer this question.
MUSA’S LIES EXPOSED
Adding to the credibility crisis of the duo – Nazri and Shukir – is the blanket denial by Musa Aman of all allegations against him.
Responding to Sarawak Report’s various allegations that among others, Musa’s two sons studying in Australia regularly received timber kickbacks from bank accounts controlled by Chia, Musa flatly denies these in a written statement on April 12, 2012 that reads:
“I deny all these allegations. I wish to put it on record once again that I have no business association whatsoever with an individual named Michael Chia”.
Musa’s denial, however, was contradicted by banks statements produced in the Singapore High Court in a civil suit (Suit No.752 of 2010/N) in June that was brought by Chia’s former associate and now adversary involving a money dispute.
To defend its position in the dispute, UBS AG produced bank statements that clearly showed that Musa’s sons Mohammed Hayssam Musa and Hazem Musa Hazem Mubarak Musa were regular recipients of money remitted from accounts of companies which Chia claimed to be under his control. These British Virginia registered shady companies with large amount of unaccounted for cash regularly flowing mysteriously through their accounts are obvious vehicles of money laundering.
Thus both UBS AG and Chia, out of the necessity to defend their respective positions, had unwittingly produced in court evidences that tell us that Musa Aman has told a blatant lie that he has no link whatsoever with Michael Chia. More than that, these bank documents also collaborate documents in Sarawak Report’s possession (including the abovementioned flow chart) that regularly surface in its frequent exposure of Musa Aman’s nefarious ventures as the notorious timber baron of Sabah.
Interestingly, according to Sarawak Report, these secret reports are leaked documents from not only ICAC, but also from MACC, which has carried out a parallel investigation on Sabah timber corruption, following the arrest of Michael Chia in Hong Kong on 14 Aug 2008 for money smuggling and laundering.
Judging from MACC’s long silence and inaction despite the wealth of evidence of Sabah timber corruption in its hands, it is not difficult to visualize the limitations under which it has to operate.
UMNO INCRIMINATES ITSELF
Prime Minister Najib Razak certainly didn’t help matters with his curt refusal to divulge the source or any information that may lessen the gravity of this scandal. In that encounter with the press after chairing the Barisan Nasional supreme council meeting on Oct 12, he even tried to sanitize this sordid incident by saying “every political party has the right to receive political donation as long as it is done in a proper way”. He added that the amount of the donation is irrelevant , repeating the proviso that “as long as it is done in a proper way”.
It really boggles the mind to think that the Prime Minister could consider such bizarre fashion of conveying donation as “the proper way”.
May we remind the Prime Minister that money smuggling and money laundering are serious criminal offences, for which Michael Chia would have been prosecuted, convicted and jailed and the cash confiscated, if not for the Malaysian government’s refusal to extend its co-operation to the Hong Kong authorities.
And since Michael Chia is only a courier, the master for whom he serves – Umno – is even more guilty.
In any democratic country, law enforcers would have swung into action following the prime minister’s open admission of such association of breach of law; but of course, in Boleh Land, this is business as usual – nothing to make a fuss about?
This latest scandal is only one of many that have been incessantly popping up lately despite the imminence of a crucial election. It only serves to reinforce the hard fact that our self-styled “reformist” Prime Minister’s many “transformations” he claimed to have brought to the nation are more illusion than substance.
As for his vision of “best democracy” and “developed nation” status in the near future, is it not a land too far to reach?
Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional or Proton does not belong to, neither is it controlled by, anybody who is really interested in making cars and profit. The main interest of everyone connected with the running of Proton appears to be to make money out of the national car project.
The employees, from the lowest level to the CEO and shareholders are only interested that by the end of the month they will get their salary, bonus and yearly dividends. The ordinary employees are also just hoping for increments and promotions, and when they are hospitalized, they will demand the best medical benefits and claim the highest hospital bills. Every year like their CEO, they too hope for windfall bonuses too.
The vendors supplying the over three thousand components are also interested in making money. They will bribe anybody in Proton they have to in order to secure their deals. Their products are mostly of lesser than specified quality but they will do all sorts of tricks like holding Proton at ransom by delaying delivery of the components until the critical stages of production.
In other words, Proton executives desperate to meet production targets will close and eye since there is no time to wait for fresh deliveries. Proton has no choice but to accept poor quality products and incorporate these into the cars they produce. Guess who is the ultimate ‘beneficiary’ or victim – yes, it is the BUYER!
When DRB-Hicom bought a 42.7 per cent stake in Proton from Khazanah Nasional Bhd for RM1.29 billion in January this year many people were skeptical whether Proton would succeed in turning itself around.
They were indeed right to expect negative results because DRB-HICOM does not have the much-needed money to inject into Proton. No one in the market was surprised when a week after the deal went through, the first order of business for DRB-Hicom’s managing director Mohd Khamil Jamil was to go to Maybank asking for money, if not begging for it.
In any huge venture, it would be most prudent to study, scrutinize, monitor and understand the business inside out so that a viable plan could be raised and implemented before pouring so much money into the venture. Unfortunately, it appears DRB-HICOM did not do its homework well! After taking over Proton, DRB-HICOM simply does not know what to do with it!
“Everybody is waiting to see what DRB-HICOM plans to do with Proton. We are working on a plan now and hope to come up with it by next month,” admitted Proton’s CEO Che Khalib Mohamad Noh after the MICPA-Bursa Malaysia Forum 2012 in Kula Lumpur.
“DRB-HICOM Bhd will come up with a new business plan for Proton Holdings Bhd next month.”
But the fact that Khalib declined to elaborate clearly shows that DRB-HICOM does not have a plan! Yet it refused to employ people who really are interested in making cars and profits.
Both Khamil and Khalib are ordinary top management individuals who have no experience in car manufacturing. Khamil has said at the group’s annual general meeting recently that the conglomerate plans to introduce a foreign partner to Proton. This clearly indicates that both of them are really blur and need foreign help badly.
They should know that foreign partners won’t be easy to come by given Proton’s political connections. Who isn’t aware Proton is a ‘connected’ conglomerate that makes money by manipulation, bail-outs and not real business? Who would want to risk their investment in Proton then?
Learn from other troubled car makers
Lee Iacocca was the”moving force” behind Ford and he revived the troubled Chrysler when he was its CEO. The same thing with Carlos Ghosn of Renault where Nissan appointed him as the CEO in 1999 and he succeeded in turning the losing car manufacturer’s USD6.1 billion losses into a net profit of USD2.7 billion within three years.
DRB-HICOM’s own dilly-dallying in trying to revive Proton shows how entrenched public scorn and cynicism is for this project. To many Malaysians, the only thought in the minds of the Proton top management is how to pull out and make as much money as possible from the Proton shares they will eventually dispose of.
No doubt, Proton can expect ‘deja-vu’ to recur. It will again be left like an unwanted orphan and UMNO will then use taxpayers’ money to bail it out on the pretext of national interest. But ‘national interest’ my foot! The deal certainly seems to be all for UMNO leaders and cronies.