Archive for the ‘MACC’ Category


2016 was the best year for Sabah tourism with an arrival of 3,427,908 foreign tourists amounting in a whooping RM7.25 billion in tourism receipts.

First it was the RM7 billion proposed Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED) a green township comprising hotels, Eco golf course, the Marina, and the enlarged Prince Philip Park approximately 348 hectares or 3,481,400 square meters to the west of Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Later that year Sabah was allocated another RM11.42 billion to implement several infrastructure projects under the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) 2016-2020 by the Federal Works Ministry, this is just the first phase. The second phase of the 11MP will involve RM8.55 billion for 32 projects, including the ongoing construction of the Pan Borneo Highway and more improvements to infrastructure. The Pan Borneo Highway in Sabah, involving a 706km stretch from Sindumin to Tawau, will be fully-completed by Dec 31, 2021. And then another RM3 billion in MoUs signed by Sabah State Government with private sectors to invest in agriculture and forestry and tourism and manufacturing.

It is a commentary on the bizarre priorities of our information order that investment commitments totaling $114 billion under Sabah Development Corridor, equaling nearly one fifth of Malaysia’s GDP, are either ignored or put on par with anodyne political statements. This, however, is not the occasion to lament the lack of even-handedness in the treatment of anything remotely connected to Sabah chief minister Musa Aman. It is the time to celebrate something that is fast becoming undeniable: the emergence of Sabah as the investment powerhouse of Malaysia.

In the start of the Cockerel Year, there was a stark contrast between a Sabah bubbling with optimism and the rest of the country despairing over economic mismanagement and missed opportunities. It is not that all the MoUs signed with private sector will be translated into reality. Many will remain paper commitments . But when the who’s who of Malaysia’s industry line up to proclaim their faith in Sabah as a wholesome place for investment, having already put their money where their mouth is, neither Malaysia nor the rest of the world can afford to be in denial.

The proclamations of faith in Sabah are all the more meaningful because they have been made despite some in Kuala Lumpur’s unremitting displeasure with anything that could bolster Musa Aman’s credentials. However, Musa Aman doesn’t usually win awards for being the “Reformer of the Year” or for innovative governance. In fact, he doesn’t even make it to the shortlist. Nevertheless he has invariably secured an unequivocal thumbs-up from those who have a real stake in the emergence of Sabah as a Malaysia economic power house.

Skeptics and naysayers who insist that the rise of Sabah has little to do with the state government, are partially right. Entrepreneurship and business are part of the Musa Aman’s DNA and not because he is Sabahan, and its reason why Sabah has always proudly cloaked itself in the business ethos since Musa took over as CEO of the state. Sabah has registered the highest GDP growth in the past 14 years and owes much of this success to the targeted, business-friendly approach of its government.

In relation to this, four features of ascendancy stands out. The first is quick decision-making—what Musa Aman has dubbed the “red carpet, not red tape” approach, ask corporate philanthropist Datuk Victor Paul, for example, recount how the land allotment and development for the Perdana Park in Tanjung Aru was made possible. Datuk Victor Paul built the multi-million ringgit park all with his own money, there was no such thing as land swap and he build the park entirely as part of his Corporate Social Responsibility and as a gift to the state and the people without any form of payment or reward. Victor Paul completed the whole project in less than two years, a quick-fire decision that has fetched Sabah this park.

The second feature is the curious phenomenon of the near-absence of political corruption at the top. Even Musa Aman’s worst enemies will not deny that the chief minister’s fanatical personal integrity has had a salutary trickle-down effect. Irritated by politically inspired extortion, industry has identified Sabah as a place where it is possible to do ethical business. That’s why when the Sabah Water Department scandal broke out, involving alleged abuse of power in the siphoning of RM3.3 billion of federal funds for water development in Sabah, Musa Aman sent out a tough message against corruption ordered dismissal of corrupt officers from service. The chief minister directed speedier action against the corrupt officials and ordered dismissal of all of them after completing departmental proceedings and other formalities including allowing MACC to deal with it.

Since 2003, Musa Aman’s Sabah has been marked by social and political peace. Particularly important for industry is the absence of political unrest, which unseated Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan in 1994. This is because Sabah has bucked a national trend and is witnessing high growth in many sectors especially eco-tourism and agriculture—last year the sector grew by 9.9%. This means that farmers mainly natives, now have a stake in the larger prosperity of the state and aren’t swayed by populists.

Sabahans and those interested in the state must remember that in the past one such populist, Shafie Apdal had nearly succeeded in selling off stakes in Yayasan Sabah when he was Chairman of North Borneo Timber Berhad (NBT) a subsidiary of YS, when his uncle Sakaran Dandai (now Tun) was Chief Minister in the mid 90s. This share swap ICBS-NBT could have resulted in the Yayasan becoming public listed and native Sabahans losing their birth right of a valuable asset, including Sabah Softwoods Sdn Bhd. However, it was Musa who was serving as CHAIRMAN/CHIEF EXECUTIVE of INNOPRISE CORPORATION (ICSB) then was able to intercept the transaction, ensuring that power remains in the hands of it’s people. Now imagine if such a populist becomes the Sabah Chief Minister.

Finally, the growth of Sabah has been spurred by a philosophy of “minimum government and maximum governance”. In plain language, this means that the state government has concentrated on creating the infrastructure for growth and left it to the private sector to get on with the job of actual wealth creation.The extent to which this vibrant Sabah capitalism will benefit Musa’s ambitions is difficult to predict. But one thing is certain. As Sabah shines and acquires an economic momentum of its own, more and more businesses will find it worthwhile to channel a major chunk of their new investments into Sabah. Kuala Lumpur may not like the resulting uneven growth but the alternative is not to thwart Sabah by political subterfuge-such as preventing public sector from engaging with the state government and the whimsical use of environmental regulations. Sabah has shown that accelerated and sustained growth is possible when the state plays the role of an honest facilitator, rather than a controller.

Musa Aman didn’t create the Sabahan character; he but he certainly did mould it. He gave it the much needed contemporary thrust as well as an ethical dimension. If more of our politicians focused on these important nuances, Malaysia as a nation will be a much better place.


This came out today in the Daily Express Sabah, shocking, 60% of Federal Government water projects in Sabah was siphoned off into some buggers pockets.

After the MACC’s biggest-ever seizure of cash, totalling RM115 million,  Sabah is back in the news again. The story going around is, Shafie Apdal was Minister of Federal Rural and Regional Development Ministry and in 2010, RM3.3 billion in water projects was handed out.  As Minister, Shafie had full discretion to approve spending for contracts up to RM100 million. The RM115 million seized by MACC is connected to the RM3.3 billion. This is the problem. It involves the Federal Rural Development Ministry and Shafie was Minister in-charge until recently when he was sacked from Umno.

But at a press conference this afternoon in Kolombong, Shafie said “I support the investigation being conducted by the MACC. I hope there is no speculation on the case as the investigation is still on-going and I am prepared to cooperate with the MACC.”

Daily Express Sabah

60pc of Federal allocations ‘stolen’

Sixty sen out of every ringgit allocated by the Federal Government for water projects was siphoned off into the pockets of many individuals.

A senior state government official said only 40pc of the federal allocations for water reached the ground in Sabah, and the rest of the money seemed to have been pocketed by individuals.

The official, who has knowledge of developments in the investigations involving the two senior Sabah Water Department officers, said there seemed to be an unprecedented scale of corruption involving the siphoning of federal allocations amounting to RM3.3bil for water projects in Sabah since 2010.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has arrested Sabah Water Department director Ag Tahir Ag Talib, 54, and his deputy Teo Chee Kong, 52, and seized over RM115mil, including some RM57mil in cash, from their houses and office.

Two others, including Teo’s older brother – a 55-year-old businessman – and his accountant have been arrested since Tuesday for investigations into what is possibly the country’s biggest abuse of power, bribery and money laundering case.

It is believed the tender process was fixed so that proxy companies would get the project at inflated prices.

In many cases, the projects were broken up into smaller parcels of up to RM100,000 to avoid the tender process.

The director or his deputy can sign off projects below RM100,000.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki has confirmed that there are 38 companies owned by family and friends of the two detained civil servants. It is learnt that 17 of the companies were connected to the director while 21 were linked to his deputy.

These companies are said to have been used as fronts to take part in limited tenders to secure the projects.

This has been happening over the last five years with the amount adding up, sources explained, but declined to reveal the specific details of the projects.

MACC sources said they had identified 40 witnesses, mainly state Water Department officials involved in processing the contracts and contractors, to have their statements recorded.

A special team of 70 MACC officers are continuing to record statements, and scan through documents and the money trail.

They are also getting the director and his deputy to declare all their assets under Section 36 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009 as investigators want to obtain comprehensive details of their wealth.

So far, MACC has recovered some RM57mil in cash found from their offices, homes and safe boxes, frozen RM60mil in bank accounts of the duo including that of a company they were linked to.

They also seized 19.3kg of gold jewellery worth about RM3.64mil from the duo, and some 97 designer ladies handbags worth RM500,000 used by the director’s wife. They also recovered some 127 land titles from Teo.

MACC is also working to repatriate funds banked into an account in a neighbouring country.


Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman has ordered for an immediate review to be carried out on procurement procedures, monitoring and financial management of all state departments and agencies, particularly those involving allocations and funds outside the state budget.

In a statement issued in Kota Kinabalu today, Musa, who is also Sabah finance minister, gave his assurance that the review would not affect the ongoing Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation into the alleged corruption involving two top officials of a Sabah government agency.

“The review will focus on the procurement procedures and monitoring of all state departments and agencies involved in the management of funds that are outside the state budget and those channelled through the ministry, departments and outside agencies.

“At the same time, I also call on all quarters to give full cooperation to the MACC. Do not act ahead of the MACC, including in issuing statements that can disrupt their investigations,” he said.

Musa also said that the state government had always been committed to fighting corruption and had always placed integrity compliance as the main principle in every aspect, including in the management of state’s finance.

Yesterday, MACC arrested a director and a deputy director of Sabah Water department over suspicion of having monopolised projects under the purview of their department and awarding them to their relatives. Both senior officers were said to have handled infrastructure construction projects valued at more than RM3.3 billion since 2010. This particular RM3.3 billion worth of federal projects is under the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development and Shafie Apdal was Minister then. MACC has also picked up the deputy director’s brother and an accountant, who is believed to have helped managed the ill-gotten gains. Their arrests led to the seizure of RM112 million cash, including that recovered from bank accounts belonging to the senior officers and their family members. A total of RM52 million in cash was confiscated during raids at the officers’ offices and homes. The four suspects are being remanded for seven days.

This case is “the biggest cash bust” in the history of MACC involving civil servants.


Malaysia NEEDS freedom from many evils which includes corruption, social evils, red-tapism, crime, fundamentalism, pseudo-secularism and many such other aspects which are deep-rooted in our system. But suggesting the elimination of all or any of these handicaps is just hypothetical in a present-days political system.

What we actually need to do is to get freedom from the present breed of politicians, who instead of using politics as a tool to serve people, would rather run politics as business for minting money by be-fooling the public.

Sabah missed a great opportunity to become the State Flagship in the cattle and dairy industry due to a major blunder in decision-making when Salleh Said Keruak was Chief Minister and Datuk Lajim Ukin the State Agriculture Minister.

Sabah government had a cattle farm in Darwin Australia and the state had actually reached 100 percent self-sufficiency in the production of such meats in 1998. At that time, the commercial cattle farm was owned by Desa Cattle Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Village Development Corporation (KPD) that was operating in Mesilau, Sook and in Darwin, Australia. Then Salleh Said Keruak and Lajim Ukin decided to sell the farm in Darwin Australia and also sold remaining thousands of acres of Desa Cattle land in Sabah to Kim Loong a West Malaysia group.

When the farm in Darwin Australia was closed in 2002, the remaining thousands of acres in Sabah too shrunk beyond recognition, the latter through the controversial sale involving Kim Loong the West Malaysian group. It is understood that the controversial deals occurred during the chief ministership of Salleh Said Keruak and when Lajim Ukin was State Agriculture Minister. Now Lajim is saying the sale went through the state Cabinet and that he should not be the one to answer for it.

As a result of the said controversial acquisitions, Desa Cattle land shrunk to a measly thousand acres in Keningau and Kundasang. The Austalian Government has since banned the acquisition of lands for cattle farming. It is so sad to see all that precious land sold. Kim Loong the West Malaysian group made huge profits from the land over the years by converting it to oil palm cultivation.

Because of this silly decision, now, Sabah is no more self-sufficient in beef, mutton and buffalo meat production had declined by 13 percent the following year after the controversial deal, that causes the state to import frozen beef from Australia and New Zealand, and frozen buffalo meat from India to meet the need for the commodity til today.

Desa Cattle a brainchild of Former Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh was a brilliant idea to see Sabah to be self-sufficient in dairy and meat, but within a period of 15 years, politicians having their own agenda just destroyed it.

This controversial deal between KPD Holdings, the State Government and the management Group calls for declassifying the documents on these deals that lead to massive losses of far greater magnitude than the on-going case of National Feedlot Corportation (NFC), another “lembu” business. How was the Management Group allowed to allegedly siphon and squander millions of ringgit and freely allowed to sell vast acreage of state land in Sabah and in Australia among many other deals, without honoring the agreement?

The West Malaysian group Kim Loong acquired close to 17,700 acres of the cattle land in Sook, Keningau on a 49/51 % joint venture arrangement. How much monetary benefits and dividends did Desa receive since the joint venture went into effect? What was the consideration and was a proper valuation done to ascertain the worth of the valuable land? Under whose name is the ownership of the land now? Was the land charged to any financial institutions? If so, for how much and for what purpose?

Then there was this mysterious death of the last General Manager whose body was found by the roadside near the Desa Cattle Sook office. Why was a report not made on this mysterious death connected to the controversial deal?

So many unanswered questions! And hardly any answers to follow suit!

The corporate mastermind of this financial fiasco and several other people involved had the audacity to make inroads into politics. Some of those who were privy to the controversial deals may still be in the management of Desa. They should be hauled up by the authorities over the many unanswered questions, including the death of the last General Manager so that the ghost of Desa Cattle can be put to rest.

It is never to late to revive and reassess the joint venture business arrangements to sent the message that wrong doing will not be tolerated even long after the ink on the deals have dried up and Sabahans caused to lose their assets.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency should reopen the files! Freedom from such politicians will automatically provide freedom from many such evils like corruption because present-days’ politicians incorporate in themselves all such evils!


Newton’s third law of motion states that “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. This is one law that has found many practical uses in science, but in politics, Taib Mahmud has mastered it like no one else has. Taib Mahmud has used this before and in the last GE13, we saw it being used once again.

Taib Mahmud’s interpretation of Newton’s 3rd law should be seen in the context of his political strategy. Incite the Sarawakians somehow, so that they vote for him en-masse. No where else in the country is the Sarawakian Bumiputra so united and committed behind the Barisan National Sarawak as he/she is in Sarawak. None of the “kedaerahan” politics that pervades much of Borneo states even seems to make a beginning in Sarawak. In fact, the Sarawakian voter has conferred Taib with the title of “Peh Moh”or White hair just like White Rajah Brooke – something that no other politician has managed to earn.

Trust me, this is not just paranoia. I have observed Taib for many years and I can say this with confidence that his every recent statement and action indicates the launch of one more edition of his proven mantra. Do something that unites the Sarawakian Native vote. But how? Here’s where Newton’s 3rd law comes in: Say something that targets the Malayans or Putrajaya; get media to hyper-react and come to their defense. Gain advantage with the state’s Sarawakians. In short: “Push out the Malayans. Pull in the Sarawakians”. Some would say “very smart”. So what if it is “divisive”. Politics in Sarawak never bothered about things like that!

Let’s look at what all Taib Mahmud has been busy with recently.

Taib’s various interviews with the media is interpreted by naive political observers as being an attempt at reaching out to the natives in Sarawak. This bunch of naive political observers thought this was Taib’s steps towards remaining as chief minister for Sarawak forever and to make sure UMNO never enters Sarawak. But Taib has already figured out that UMNO and Barisan National has become too weak in Malaya and depend too much on Sarawak to remain in power in Putrajaya. This is the time for re-asserting power in his home state by winning handsomely. His focus is only on Sarawak right now. He has enough trouble in his home state. The economy is slowing down (yes yes…..read unbiased articles to understand this fact) and he is getting panned for his state’s Human Development Index figures and corruption. If he now loses Sarawak, he loses all chances to remain as chief minister and UMNO will step foot in Sarawak and hence create another Sabah senario, every Sarawakian knows this. On the other hand, if he wins Sarawak again in the coming Sarawak state election which is expected within the next 2 years, he is without doubt going to be the foremost chief minister who kept the Malayan colonist out from Sarawak, notwithstanding what Taib Mahmud or others feel.

Let’s analyze what Taib told the press recently. Taib Mahmud charged that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) does not “deserve” his cooperation in potential graft investigations as they have not been upfront with him. Taib said he was not afraid of being investigated by MACC as long as he was being treated fairly. “Up to you. They want to victimise me, let them. As long as they are fair I am not scared”. “They don’t deserve my cooperation because they have been quite naughty.” The interview provided Taib the platform to announce that he wouldn’t apologize to the Putrajaya control MACC because he hadn’t done anything wrong. Sounds strange assuming he was trying to appease the Feds? Imagine this. Taib talking to the Feds in their language and telling them on their faces that he wasn’t going to cooperate? What were the Feds expected to do? Howl with anger and pass judgments that Taib was guilty! What is the media expected to do? Scream untouchable Taib. That’s what it did! And what about the opposition? Of course, they all showed how untouchable Taib was. This is exactly what Taib wanted! All this has panned out so beautifully for him. Why? Because what will Sarawakian do when they hear so much media, opposition and criticism of Taib? They will react like Newton said they would. They will ring fence Taib. They will swear to themselves and to each other that they will get their “protector” elected. Brilliant, Taib Mahmud!

Consider also the Malay-language Bible “Alkitab” row. Malaysiakini reported Taib as saying “It was I who talked to the prime minister. I said to him that it was a stupid idea to stamp serial numbers. I told him it should be stopped and he said ‘yes I agree and I’ll put a stop to it’. So he went and stopped the serial numbers. Now there’s no more of this nonsense.” Again, naive observers may have wondered why Taib wasn’t seizing the opportunity to curry favor with the Muslims. But no, Taib’s objective was the same. He was interested in making a statement to the Christian Bumiputras. Again….push the Malayan fanatics….maybe even become a hate figure amongst them…..and earn the votes of the Christian Bumiputras! Brilliant, no? The hearts of Taib’s Sarawak Christians would have swelled with pride. Now that’s our leader!

Taib is said to be fantastic with PR. I agree. He will use every bit of available opportunity to further gain from Newton’s law. The recent Lahad Datu Intrusion is and example where he said the setting up of Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate Lahad Datu intrusion in Sabah is a good move to find out the truth about what happened to avoid the government from being accused of creating the conflict. Taib cannot publicly use this issue to whip up support for himself, but in secret ceramah’s in Sarawak, Taib must be telling the Sarwakians – see what happens if we surrender our rights to the Malayans, let me handle this, only I can stop Putrajaya from stealing our rights! Give me your vote and I will make sure Sarawak is safe from Putrajaya!

The real truth is that all fair’s in love and war and politics. And no one can grudge Taib his political strategy. But it would help to know what one is getting into. No one expects Taib not to rely on his Dayak vote bank. There is nothing wrong in that. But one must recognize the downside of such a strategy. For the country and for his own party. Taib may want to ask why UMNO is dying to step foot in Sarawak and why Putrajaya wants him to retire as chief minister….the answer to that may make him wiser. Wiser than merely knowing Newton’s laws….


There’s something obscene about the opposition commentariat’s obsession with the Chief Minister of Sabah, Musa Aman. That obsession has nothing to do with the awe-inspiring work he has done over the past decade, converting Sabah into the most developed State of Malaysia with spectacular achievements in many fields. Sabah today is a model economy that generates both envy and aspiration among the people of other States. Rare, if any, is the State Government that does not ask itself: If Sabah can achieve the seemingly impossible, why can’t we?

True, Sabah’s amazing success story has been made possible, in large measure, by hardworking Sabahans. What stifled it was bad governance, absence of leadership and rampant corruption, which has proved to be the undoing of the best of intentions of many a Government, both at the Centre and in the States. This is where Musa Aman’s contribution has made a qualitative difference, recasting the role of Government: He has demonstrated that maximum governance is possible with minimum Government.

To achieve that goal, he adopted a policy of zero tolerance towards corruption, reduced the role of the Government to that of a facilitator and placed a premium on the hallmark of quality in everything that was done to create the right conditions. Hence, roads and highways were built conforming to global standards, emphasis was laid on creating infrastructure that would cater not only to current and emerging demands but also needs of the future, and social development was given its due prominence on the Government’s ‘To Do’ list.

Meanwhile, Musa Aman did what any visionary leaders are supposed to do: He kept on coming up with ideas that were at once big and creative. He placed the people at the centre of his projects, making them the ultimate beneficiaries. If investors were encouraged to invest their money in Sabah, it was not merely to enable them to reap profits but also create wealth through income for the everyday Sabahan.

But there’s more to the Sabah story than just securing investments. Just as Musa Aman has encouraged investors to look at Sabah as their preferred destination, he has also encouraged the people of Sabah to make the maximum use of the opportunities created by such investment. He has constantly played up Sabah’s ‘pride’, which in turn has instilled a tremendous sense of self-confidence in all Sabahans. Barack Hussein Obama’s winning slogan, “Yes, we can”, could well have been Sabah’s contribution to the 2008 US presidential campaign.

Yet, none of this and more has ever found mention in the non-stop outpouring of criticism and rebuke directed at Musa Aman by the opposition commentariat which just can’t see anything right, leave alone good, about the Government he heads and its enviable governance record. The criticism and rebuke could have been ignored but for the fact that electronic media is controlled by those who love to hate Musa Aman and a sustained campaign of calumny does tend to influence opinion, especially among those who have little or no knowledge of what transpired back in the 80’s and 90’s, in which they were still in infancy I’m sure.

As Musa Aman said during the State Legislative Assembly sitting in response to Luyang assemblywoman Melania Chia’s queries regarding the alleged hundreds of million of ringgits in his Swiss bank accounts, ” You can ask me… you can even repeat it outside the house. I won’t sue you because I am not worried at all. To me there is no such thing. You think if I am wrong I would be standing here. I am open anytime to be investigated. I am ready to face it anytime.” They were indeed true. Any other Chief Minister would have broken-down, but not Musa Aman, who chose to tell the truth.

Then when the story about Micheal Chia got detained at the HK International Airport in August 2008 with S$16 million (RM40 million) in cash on him came out, many blogs played this to the maximum and said Micheal Chai was an ally of Musa Aman and that the money belonged to Musa Aman.

Seriously?

Musa Aman has got no time for a young punk like Micheal Chai, who doesn’t even have formal school education. Michael Chai is a drunkard, a gambler, a womaniser and the only thing he has is a rich father who happens to own a stevedoring company and a friend call Nazri Aziz. Besides, Micheal Chai was never caught in the Hong Kong International Airport over currency trafficking and laundering with S$16 million cash in Singapore currency in his luggage before boarding a flight to Kuala Lumpur as I have written in the past, see here. In fact the money was found in a hotel room in Hong Kong were Micheal Chai was staying.

Even the Prime Minister last month (Oct. 19) denied that there was any attempt to smuggle the RM40 million “donation for Sabah UMNO” into the country. It was Musa Aman’s foes, self-appointed, self-righteous activists, who instigated a slew of cases seeking to implicate him in some way or the other with Micheal Chia’s RM40 million scandal. With more than a little help from a conniving electronic media, they almost succeeded in their mission to tar him. But as the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz told Parliament last month that the cash Micheal Chia was carrying was not meant for Musa personally but was a donation to Sabah Umno. That statement in Parliament by the Minister last month shows, the truth does prevail over jaundiced lies.

I personally believe that there was huge propaganda against Musa Aman, and in a case where there is a criminal investigation, propaganda can never be hard evidence. I do believe that there wasn’t a shred of evidence against him. It was all propaganda, a fact which is now coming to be established even further.

The Leader of Party Bersatu Sabah outside the Sabah State Assembly recently, was eloquent in his response, describing Musa Aman’s ‘investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Hong Kong’ and trialed by the electronic media as a trial by fire, from which he had emerged unscathed. The PBS’s senior leader, reiterated the indisputable fact that “never in the history of this country has a leader been a victim of a sustained misinformation campaign”. Sadly, neither the MACC’s and ICAC’s verdict nor the elaboration by Najib Tun Razak what is known and established will serve to halt the ‘sustained misinformation campaign’, the peddling of ‘propaganda as evidence’ by those who are not impressed by the long and arduous investigation to which Musa Aman has been subjected. In fact in a recent statement that he released yesterday, Musa Aman expresses regret over the fact that the ” Opposition is not willing to accept the truth. What more do they want? They are trying again to use the same complaint to gain political mileage. They are rehashing the same old story.” Musa also says that he is “entitled to conclude that the Opposition is political bankrupt” and to “to treat their recent rehashed allegation with the contempt it so richly deserves”, an opinion that I stand behind.

Many Malaysians, do not necessarily subscribe to the constant barrage of accusations against Musa Aman by the raucous voices of those stuck in the past and for whom manufactured lies is a useful tool to mobilise rakyats opinion.

This is where Musa Aman’s innovation can make a difference. He has ensured, as he says, “peace, unity, social harmony and brotherhood”, which have collectively given “further impetus to the process of development”. That peace, unity, social harmony and brotherhood now need to be made into permanent features. It’s not easy for a person who has been vilified for so long to say this, but Musa Aman has, reaching out to all Malaysians: “No state, society or individual can claim to be perfect. I am grateful to all those who pointed out my genuine mistakes during last 10 years. I seek your blessings to serve the people of Sabah with devotion free from all human shortcomings.”

At present, I can say that no one could have been more honest, sincere and human about the State of Sabah. No one could have reflected courage and dedication in a more convincing manner. No one apart from Musa Aman.


The collapse of the 23-year dictatorship, the first ever collapse of an Arab leader to a “people power” uprising is shaking the Muslim world. President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali who wanted to rule further until 2014 had to fled out of the country due to the mass uprising in every corner of Tunisia, and now, he is hiding in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia another authoritarian state, with his tail between his legs.

The spark to the riot was after, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself ablaze on December 17 out of sheer frustration. Mohamed was a young graduate who sold fruits and vegetables for a living, he was locked up and his cart with all his fruits and vegetables was confiscated by the Tunisian authorities for his failure to secure proper license. He eventually died an agonising death on January 5.

Now Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” has spread to neighbouring Egypt and is about to knock off President Hosni Mubarak from his 30 years dictatorship. Mubarak has gone into hiding now. It is spreading like wild fire across the Arab world. Like Tunisia, and now in Egypt, similar protest over unemployment and food prices have also started in Jordan, Algeria, Yemen and even Saudi Arabia in the past weeks, all these countries has a big percentage of young people, majority are well-educated but a lot unemployed.

This has been one hell of a revolution. It places the military on top and is a another step towards perpetuating the “militarized democracy”. Mubarak went because he wanted to establish a civilian oligarchy led by his son.

Anyway, the people of Egypt will be lucky if their military hands over power to a democratically elected govt in 6 months as promised !!

Comparing this with the situation that is prevailing in our country, do we see something similar happening here. I believe the situation here is not that bad yet although we have our share of widespread police abuse and death in police custody like the case of 22 year-old Kugan Ananthan who died a horrible, lonely death with his body bore the marks of several wounds from severe beatings and torture from the hands of policemen. Then we have the case of Teoh Beng Hock who died in the custody of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Agency and we are told that Teoh Beng Hock did not commit suicide but neither was his death a homicide. Then we are told again that the police are allowed to shoot as in the case of Aminulrasyid Amzah, the 15 year-old who died in a hail of police bullets. Then recently, there was the case of businessman Chia Buang Hing, 34 who was beaten up by the cops when he was stopped at a police road-block. So many more cases of torture and abuse from the hands of the authorities and it may take me many more pages to complete.

Don’t you think they are testing our patience? I tell you, the way our government is handling the situation really sucks, our belief in the forces of law and order have eroded badly.

Don’t you think Malaysia too is ready for this kind of an upheaval?

The conditions are here also: A dysfunctional polity, corrupt politicians, self absorbed bureaucrats, an uncaring elite, increasing disparities in income and consumption, and an all pervasive corrupt and insolent government.

So is it a matter of when or is it still a question of why?

Or when will we come out and say… CUKUP!


DAILY EXPREES

Wednesday, 28th July, 2010

Masidi: Perm Sec not under MACC probe

Barnard Yaang

Kota Kinabalu: State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun denied that his Permanent Secretary was hauled in by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) for questioning recently.

He said he has no knowledge of the so-called MACC probe on Suzannah Liaw when asked to comment on the Malaysia Today web portal alleging that she was being investigated for graft.

” I can confirm to you no such thing happened,” he said, adding he was surprised that people kept asking him whether the allegation was true.

Instead, he said the issue was a result of a misunderstanding over Liaw’s insurance claim. He said Liaw sustained broken legs about two years ago in an accident following which she submitted claims for injuries from the insurance company.

The State Government, he said, has an insurance scheme for its employees and that the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) and Sabah Parks where Liaw served as member of the board of directors in both entities also provide insurance coverage.

However, the people misconstrued Liaw’s insurance claims as claiming money from the Government. He said Liaw is permitted to make insurance claims, as she is entitled to it.

He explained that the compensation payment from the insurance company was only paid to her after almost two years because the company requires time to ascertain the authenticity of the claims.

Maisdi said people have become vicious in passing rumours that hurt other people for no apparent reason.

“I hope this serves as a good lesson to remind us that if you dont stop all the nonsense in our society, we would be sinking into low morality,” he said.

He suggested the very same people who were jealous of Liaw for the insurance claims break their legs so that they could make similar claims from the insurance companies.

See full story here


The crusade against corruption seems to be gathering momentum in Sabah.

The latest to be roped in by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is Datuk Suzannah Liaw a Senior Civil Servant. Datuk Suzannah Liaw is the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment and she is been investigated for graft.

So, another Sabah political upheaval appears to be looming.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said it had ‘strong evidence’ that Datuk Suzannah Liaw had misused her powers by submitting to the Treasury a bill of RM50,000 spent on her son’s birthday bash. Datuk Suzannah Liaw is also under investigation by MACC for giving contracts from her Ministry to her husband’s company worth millions.

Sources from the MACC say that legal action will be taken soon, as they have strong evidence for both the cases that abuse of power has taken place. It seems the papers would be sent soonest to the Attorney-General to file charges.

MACC Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed held lengthy meetings with his officers to set the direction for the probe. It is understood that the MACC has cast its net wide. It seems MACC Chief Commissioner has met up with Musa Aman and had given an ultimatum to suspend Datuk Suzannah Liew from the Ministry immediately.

Statements have also been taken from the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun and officers from the Ministry in Wisma Tun Faud Stephens, Karamunsing. 10 boxes of documents were also taken from the Ministry by the MACC officers.

The news is likely to spark further accusations that Premier Najib Tun Razak is putting pressure on Musa Aman to step down as Chief Minister of Sabah. Then yesterday in Sabah we hear another news that a VVIP’s daughter-in-law was charged for KHALAWAT and my sources say that its the TYT’s daughter-in -law.

Notwithstanding this story, many in Sabah claim the Premier Najib’s anti-corruption crusade is been exaggerated and that the Premier is practicing what it brands as “selective justice.”

But Premier Najib Tun Razak says: ‘‘I believe that our public service does operate at the highest possible standards — but we need to ensure that it is seen to operate at the highest possible standards.’’

Premier Najib Tun Razak announced a zero tolerance approach to corruption and vowed that public officials who engaged in graft would be arrested and prosecuted. “No one, not even members of my family, will be spared (in this fight against corruption) and there will be no sacred cows in my administration,” said the Premier.

After all, in politics, perception is everything.

Footnote After this article was out, State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun came out with a statement saying that his Permanent Secretary Datuk Suzannah Liew was not hauled in by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) for questioning but there was some sort of a misunderstanding over Datuk Suzannah Liaw’s insurance claim. See here.


PRESS STATEMENT

I have just been informed that my house in Kuala Lumpur has been broken into and the main item targeted and removed is my laptop. I am flying back immediately from London to attend to this incident.

It is very revealing that this is the second incident targeted at my house proximate to my attending to PI Bala’s matters. I had Molotov cocktails thrown at my house after his Singapore interview and now after his London and Paris interviews I have had my house broken into and my laptop removed. It is telling that many other valuable items in the same room, including my wife’s jewelry, were left untouched.

I have serious concerns that attempts might be made by interested parties to interfere with the contents of my laptop and fabricate material.

I will release a further statement after I reach home and have had an opportunity to view the crime scene personally. I will lodge a police report after that.

Manjeet Singh Dhillon

London, 19 July 2010