Friday, March 29, 2013

MACC raids office of S'wak lawyer implicated in video

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has raided the office of lawyer Alvin Chong, who was implicated in the corruption videos released by international NGO, Global Witness.

According to a Sin Chew Daily report, MACC officials from Putrajaya conducted the raid on Chong's legal film in Kuching on Tuesday morning.

However, they were forced to seek the assistance of Kuching police after being blocked by several individuals who were not identified in the report.

Kuching district police chief Roslan Bek Ahmat told the Chinese daily that the police were only assisting the MACC in terms of security, and were not involved in the raid.

Accompanied by some 10 plainclothes policemen, MACC officers entered Chong's office in the afternoon to carry out their work without hindrance.

They spent several hours in the office and left with some documents.

The daily quoted sources as saying that Chong has not returned to the office since the March 19 release of the graft video.

Last Wednesday, MACC director of investigations Mustafar Ali told Malaysiakini that investigation of the case was under way.

New evidence'll guide MACC probe

"With the new evidence that has emerged, the MACC will act accordingly," Mustafar said in a text message.

Chong, who is with Alvin Chong & Partners, has represented the Sarawak government, government-linked companies and prominent public-listed companies with close links to Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud's family.

Allegedly engaged by Taib's cousins to sell timber land to a Global Witness investigator who posed as a foreign investor, Chong was caught on a discreetly filmed video proposing mechanisms to evade tax and circumvent the government requirement of 51 percent local shareholding in any joint-venture.

The video also exposed the alleged abuse of logging licences by Taib's kin and key business associates, but Taib has denied the allegations, describing the video as an attempt to "blacken" his name.

Asked about the allegations during an interview with The Financial Times of UK published today, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak declined to comment.

Najib said that the MACC was investigating the case and the government was as "equally concerned about corruption" as its critics.

"Prostitution and corruption are two things that mankind has had to live with for so long. But we are determined to tackle it. It is a scourge. But it is something that will not go away overnight," najib is quoted as telling The Financial Times.

~ Malaysiakini 

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