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Abdullah should present White Paper on what he had achieved in the battle against corruption in his 40 months as Prime Minister when Parliament reconvenes on March 19

Media Statement   
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Wednesday) : The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) had featured, directly or indirectly, in many recent developments, raising anew the question of the effectiveness and even relevance of the anti-corruption agency in the battle against corruption, particularly high-profile corruption.

In December, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said in an interview with Bangkok Post that he had not forgotten about the war against corruption, and as proof, he said the ACA had been increased by 300 new officers for a special investigative unit.

But what has the ACA to show after the establishment of the special investigation unit with 300 new officers?

Can Abdullah present a White Paper on what he had accomplished in the battle against corruption in his 40 months as Prime Minister when Parliament reconvenes on March 19, 2007 and why the government is failing so miserably in the first target of the National Integrity Plan – improvement of Malaysia’s ranking in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index from 37th in 2003 to at least 30th position in 2008. In 2006, Malaysia’s TI CPI ranking had fallen seven places to No. 44.

Two news reports today which raised the question of ACA’s effectiveness and relevance are:

  • Sun report “Witnesses refuse to testify: ACA officer” – “Five Japanese witnesses sought by the prosecution to testify against former Perwaja Steel managing director Tan Sri Eric Chia in his criminal breach of trust (CBT) trial have refused to attend the court hearing here.”
  • New Straits Times report: “Casinos’ can collect debts from Osu’” – “Former Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Osu Sukam can expect two London casinos come knocking on his doors to recover RM7.14 million in gambling debts”.

In 2005, there had been an ACA investigation following the lodging of reports as to how the former two-year Sabah Chief Minister and Federal Minister for Land and Co-operatives, Datuk Seri Osu Sukam could amass such astronomical wealth as to gamble hundreds of millions of ringgit in various London and Australian casinos a year after political retirement, including RM158.7 million gamblings and losing RM31.6 million and running up RM7.1 million debts in one London casino.

What has happened to this ACA investigation with the new 300-strong investigation unit?

The police investigation of four Opposition leaders under the Official Secrets Act in connection with the disclosure of the Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP) concession agreement has also reminded Malaysians about the earlier OSA prosecution of former Parti Keadilan Rakyat Youth leader, Mohd Ezam Mohd Nor.

Ezam was convicted in August 2002 and sentenced to two years jail by the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court for committing the OSA offence of exposing secret documents of corruption investigations, including one pertaining to Rafidah Aziz, viz: that the previous Attorney General had been satisfied with the investigations carried out by the Anti-Corruption Agency and was ready to prosecute Rafidah Aziz on five corruption charges in connection with the allotment of 1.5 million Leader Universal Holdings Bhd. shares and 4,173,190 units of FACB shares to her son-in-law, Fazrin Azwar bin Mohd. Nor but this was not done because of the interference by the then Prime Minister.

Ezam's prosecution under the OSA could only mean the truth and veracity of the allegations against Rafidah which was made public by former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his police report on Rafidah Aziz in 1999. If this was the case, how could Rafidah continue to serve as a Minister in Abdullah's Cabinet of integrity?

Abdullah should in his White Paper on his 40-month battle against corruption give a satisfactory accounting on Rafidah’s invidious position as well as ACA investigation into Rafidah based on a police report lodged by former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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