Thursday, June 24, 2010

Come clean on graft probe, SAPP warns against cover up


By Queville To

KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department V K Liew has been urged to come clean on an investigation into corruption and money laundering in Sabah.

Instead of asking the people to remain calm, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) information chief Chong Pit Fah said Liew should disclose the status of the probe.

Many in Sabah believe that the investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) involving several individuals said to be closely linked to a state leader would be shelved as it would embarrass the government.

Chong was commenting on Liew’s statement earlier this month confirming the MACC investigation following reports in the online media that several people had been called in for questioning.

Liew had said then that it was best to let MACC investigate any offence which is speculated to be tied to an alleged money laundering scam uncovered by the Hong Kong authorities in 2008.

“The government can choose to remain silent and hope that the issue fades away but it cannot prevent newspapers and blogs from publishing their own investigative reports,” said Chong.

He noted that long before news of the MACC investigation appeared on the internet, Sandakan was abuzz with talk.

Referring to a report this week quoting a senior MACC officer in Sabah saying that they were aware of the case but it was being handled by their headquarters, Chong said this was unusual.

Don't cover up the case

He hoped that Liew’s recent statement urging the public to remain calm and not to listen to rumours was not the beginning of a cover up.

“How come the MACC people, who are under him know about the matter but he as the minister in charge of MACC claims to be in the dark?” he asked.

Chong reminded the deputy minister that he (Liew) had also revealed to the local media on April 4 that some politicians in the state had amassed great fortunes in a short span of time.

He said the people deserved to know if the implementation of federal projects in Sabah had been affected by corrupt practices and whether Liew had reported them to MACC and the prime minister.

“Does his allegation include those involved in the multi-billion ringgit Port Klang Free Zone project, the alleged payment of RM10 million to an ex MCA minister, the submarine purchase with so-called commissions of more than RM500 million, and the yet to be completed RM400 million Kalabakkan-Sapulut road?” he asked.

He said if Liew’s description of “unprecedented fortunes” being accumulated was accurate, the amount involved would be in the region of hundreds of millions of ringgit and not many politicians would fit into this category of extreme wealth.

Chong reminded Liew that as the minister in-charge of MACC, he should not attempt to cover up the corruption of his colleagues.

No comments: