Thursday, October 25, 2012

Phang: Unusual precedent being set over RM40mil affair

  • Hafiz Yatim
  • 11:32AM Oct 25, 2012
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his government are setting an unusual precedent if there were no transparency over the RM40 million channeled to Sabah Umno, says former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) adviser Robert Phang, adding that such a pitfall, if not stopped, will be perceived as the PM condoning such an act.

“It would mean that if the person is caught (channeling) the funds it would be deemed a political contribution, and if he is not caught then it would be considered as ‘sendirian berhad’ (your own),” he mocked.

“This would put a damper on the government’s fight against corruption and bring the Government Transformation Programme to naught if this is not done transparently. It would set a bad precedent and would be dangerous for BN to allow this.”

During the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA) conference, the issue of political contributions was raised and the panel agreed that if it was not done in a transparent manner, it can be considered as corruption.

Yesterday, former Umno supreme council member and present Independent MP Lajim Ukin said he never knew Sabah Umno had so much money.

NONEPhang (right), who is also the Social Just Care chairperson, then trained his sights on the PM’s advisers and attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail, who also hails from Sabah, for possibly ill-advising Najib Abdul Razak.

He said surely they must advise Najib in dealing with this issue. Saying the PM was grossly ill-advised in the whole affair, Phang called on Najib to seriously look at the adverse effect and subtle messages it is implying.

“Abdul Gani should also be advising Najib in terms of the law with regard to this, as this would not deter politicians from becoming involved in alleged corrupt activities and the rakyat will perceive that this is being condoned,” he said, adding this will reflect badly on BN.

Phang said this nonsense should stop.

‘Someone not telling the truth’

Phang also said the contrasting nature in the de facto law minister’s explanation on which agency cleared Musa - whether it was theMACC or Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) - creates further questions.

For him, someone did not get the facts right before commenting on the issue in parliament.

“Someone is not telling the truth and the controversy definitely invites further sparks and a need to re-look the structure of the MACC as there is no independence in their investigations as Abdul Razak Musa, (head of legal and prosecution in MACC) and Anthony Kevin Morais are representatives of the Attorney-General’s Chambers.”

“The two not only monitor, but they advise directly and interfere in the investigations as they did when the MACC investigated me,” said Phang.

He added that on a macro level MACC seems all right but at the micro, there were problems. 

NONEPhang, who knows the MACC investigating procedures, still believes the MACC has not completed its probe into the RM40 million judging on its deputy chief commissioner (operations) Mohd Shukri Abdull’s (left) explanation earlier this month.

Shukri had on Oct 5 explained that the operations evaluation panel of the MACC had instructed it to investigate further on Musa, where it was reported it had completed its probe but the panel was asked to look into it further.

“I believe in Shukri (who said that the investigations) are not complete yet. I feel sorry that the PM may be misled or have been given wrong advise. Who is Nazri Abdul Aziz to clear Musa?” he asked.

~ Malaysiakini

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