Thursday, February 27, 2014

Probe Musa over RM40 million timber donation fund, PKR tells graft body

FEBRUARY 27, 2014

Following yesterday’s conviction of businessman Michael Chia for cheating, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should now investigate Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who was previously linked to Chia over corruption and money-laundering involving Sabah timber, a PKR lawmaker said today.
Rafizi Ramli (pic), who is PKR strategy director, said MACC must now investigate if there was any connection to previous claims of a RM40 million fund linked to donations from timber companies.
"With this conviction, MACC should reopen investigations into Datuk Seri Musa Aman in the RM40 million case tied to donations from timber companies based on evidence of the transfer of monies involving Chia."
Musa’s alleged link to Chia first surfaced in the media two years ago, following an article in the whistleblower site Sarawak Report, which claimed Chia was caught trying to leave the Hong Kong International Airport with RM40 million in Singapore dollars.
Chia had claimed the money was for Umno.
Rafizi said that MACC and Hong Kong's anti-graft authority, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, had provided information that there was indeed a transfer of RM40 million but did not pursue the case as corruption as it was said to be a donation for Sabah Umno.
"The guilty conviction against Michael Chia raises the question of who was behind it, since he does not have any government post and also does not have the authority to issue any logging permits.
"Yet, the fact that he could collect monies from these timber companies gave the impression that the companies knew that Chia was a middleman for certain parties who had the power to influence the awarding of timber permits," Rafizi said.
The Pandan MP also said that Chia's conviction was a “slap on the face” for Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz, who was said to have had links with the businessman, especially after it was exposed that Nazri's son had used Chia's luxury car.
"What more when  Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had declared in Parliament that there was no element of corruption in the cases involving Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Michael Chia," he added.
As such, Rafizi called on MACC to go after the big fish involved in this case as well.
"Otherwise, MACC will always be seen as going after small fry and letting the big fish get away."
Chia was found guilty yesterday by the Sandakan Sessions Court of attempted cheating in a deal over a timber operation and sentenced to a year's jail and ordered caned for a RM2.5 million attempted cheating case 10 years ago. – February 27, 2014.
~ The Malaysian Insider

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