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

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling JayaThursday): 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:

  • The ACA will from now on keep all complainants informed on the status of investigations into their reports if they want it.

  • Heads of government departments will be  informed of the decision of the Attorney-General on investigations involving their subordinates. 

  • The ACA  will issue statements about cases that are still under investigation if it feels necessary, including those already decided by the Attorney-General. 

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.

On 4th June 2002, I had lodged a police report at the Dang Wangi police station against Ling, asking for police investigations as to whether he had committed an offence of obstructing ACA investigations under Section 19 of the Anti-Corruption Act as a result of Soh Chee Wen's disclosures in his interview with Malaysiakini, which is an offence liable on conviction to the maximum sentence of RM100,000 fine or ten years' jail or both.  

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