This weekend Malaysia’s PM, Najib Razak, indicated it was perfectly “proper” for his party to accept secret donations of millions of dollars from undisclosed sources.
He was referring to the RM40million that the Hong Kong authorities seized in 2008 in the possession of a courier Michael Chia, who was in the process of trafficking the money in a suitcase to Sabah.
For the past four years the Chief Minister of Sabah, Musa Aman, has strenuously denied that this money had anything to do with him or indeed that he had “any business association whatsoever” with Michael Chia.
However, the Prime Minister has now been forced to admit in the face of overwhelming evidence that the money was linked to Musa. He is nevertheless trying to make the ‘excuse’ that the purpose was to spend it on their own political party UMNO.
In any other country such an excuse would be treated as an admission of enormous guilt, because of course it is just as criminal to launder illegal money on behalf of your political party as it is for yourself!
But in the looking glass world of an utterly corrupted Malaysia under BN, it appears that Najib is hoping that enough of his followers will accept that Musa can be excused prosecution on these grounds. After all Najib desperately needs Sabah’s votes to hang on to power at the General Election.
What about the payments to Musa’s kids?
This startling and shocking recent series of admissions and excuses by BN’s leadership over the past days has been met with silence from Musa himself. But, since he has been now confirmed by his own party as the man behind the money in the black bag, he should at the very least be making some apologies for lying for so long that he had nothing to do with this affair.
Musa should also say sorry for denying his association with Michael Chia, who was bringing him this money and he should say sorry to Sarawak Report, whom he accused of publishing forged documents and spreading falsehoods.
Meanwhile, BN/UMNO has brought not the slightest piece of evidence to back up its claims about where the money was destined and it is still refusing to admit where it came from!
Let us make clear again, if this money was legitimate then it would have been simple to transfer from one bank account to another. So, why would anyone attempt to smuggle RM40 million in dirty notes if it was legitimate cash?
This entire shambles of an excuse about payments to UMNO is anyway completely destroyed by the proof that Michael Chia was also making payments from his accounts to Musa’s own sons as a standing arrangement over many years.
Was the education of Musa’s sons in Australia and their spending money ‘UMNO party business’?
Don’t rely on “forged documents” from Sarawak Report for the proof on this matter. Go to the High Court of Singapore and look at the depositions made by the Swiss UBS Bank, which has been seeking to defend its management of these accounts for Michael Chia.
In its evidence the bank swears to a series of payments from these accounts made out to the sons of Musa Aman!
These recorded payments perfectly match the bank statements we ourselves have acquired from the MACC’s own investigation of this matter (now being suppressed by UMNO ministers), which puts paid to the notion of “forgery” once and for all.
This wipes away the thin excuse (as if it ever was an excuse) that the Chairman of UMNO Sabah was only using this money to his political advantage as opposed to his personal advantage. Some of this money was definitely also funding his family.
The reason for transparency
Even more astonishing is the Prime Minister’s insistence that the world should take on faith his half-hearted and belated confessions about this affair. While he has admitted the money was indeed for UMNO, he refuses to say where it came from !
Is the world really supposed to take on trust that this sordid transaction, involving used notes stuffed into suitcases was all above board and there was no hint of corruption involved? If so, why is the PM not prepared to provide the evidence?
It seems BN are saying that the methods used by the rest of the civilised world to ensure accountability are not needed by BN, because we can trust them not to accept corrupt money!
The key donors – we expose the source of the money!
In which case the Prime Minister will surely not mind if we spell out some of the sources of the funds that have been pouring into the UBS accounts managed by Michael Chia in Hong Kong, from which he pulled the RM40 million.
These documents all form part of the MACC investigation, which is now being suppressed by Ministers.
Donor 1 - Andrew and Freddy Lim, Sabah timber tycoons
The Lim brothers have numerous concessions provided by Yayasan Sabah of which Musa Aman is the Chairman (as well as being Chief Minister and of course the Chairman of UMNO). These are some of the concessions:
Our researches show that the companies Maxland Sdn Bhd, Cergas Kenari Sdn Bhd, Maju Sinar Sdn Bhd are all run by Priceworth Industries Sdn Bhd of which Andrew Lim is the boss. Lim is also the controller and shareholder of numerous other timber companies in Sabah.
The registered shareholder of for example Bountiful Returns Sdn Bhd, which received a logging permit for 8,000 hectares of “Primary Virgin Forest” at Kuamat in 2003 (see above) is Andrew Lim.
Andrew Lim and his brother Freddy Lim were also behind the timber agents Wayco Enterprises Ltd, based in Hong Kong and the company Hillywell Inc. which were paying millions of dollars into Michael Chia’s UBS accounts. These payments were highlighted by the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in their investigations.
If there is nothing wrong with millions of dollars being donated to Sabah UMNO (Chaired by CM Musa Aman) from timber barons who have received valuable concessions granted by the Board of Yayasan Sabah (Chaired by CM Musa Aman), why does the Prime Minister leave it to Sarawak Report to make all this public?
He should openly admit his donors and say he is proud that UMNO Sabah benefits from millions in timber kickbacks for licences that have destroyed great areas of remaining virgin forest and that it is pleased to receive these moneys in unmarked, dirty notes, transported by illiterate couriers in black bags (Chia, who is registered on numerous timber concessions himself and has a string of flash motors, has described himself as illiterate many times in court depositions).
Donor 2 – Ting Pek Kiing, Sarawak Tycoon/ Ngui Ing Chuang/ Simon Ling
Companies associated with Sarawak tycoon Ting Pek Kiing have also received numerous concessions from Yayasan Sabah. Meanwhile other companies associated with the tycoon have at the same time generously donated to the accounts from which Michael Chia drew USD$16million (RM40million) to bring to Musa in 2008.
Simon Ling Ding Dieng is Ting Pek Kiing’s cousin and business partner and he has received concessions as has timber baron Ngui Ing Chuang.
So, no surprise that Ngui Ing Chuan and Ting Pek Kiing’s own son Peter Ting (Ting Sie Huong) turn out to be the key shareholders of a company Borion which has paid numerous large payments into the accounts of Michael Chia, which were then drawn from to provide this payment to Sabah UMNO’s Chairman, Musa Aman!
Donor No 3 – Admond Looh, Sabah timber tycoon
Java Industries’ Admond Looh Boon Chai (sometimes called Edmond) also received a great number of timber concessions through a large number of companies, listed by the MACC in one of the documents we have received.
Looh was also the controller of a number of companies which paid substantial sums into the network of companies controlled by Michael Chia on behalf of Musa Aman (as has now been admitted). These companies included Well Capital Finance, Ever Fame Enterprises and Multilink Star Incorporated.
Mr Looh was always very particular in making sure that his telegraphic transfers to Chia’s companies spelt out the reasons for the payments, perhaps in case the recipient might not remember what these particular millions were for.
The MACC has evidence of numerous payments from Looh’s companies, after all he had numerous concessions granted by Musa Aman in his capacity as Chairman of Yayasan Sabah.
In fact money was pouring in from Mr Looh’s various companies into Chia’s accounts over a number of years and all this information is with the MACC!
There is a good deal more evidence of such kickback payments in the mass of documentation that is available to the MACC. However, clearly BN has now made a judgement that kickbacks are OK as long as they are destined for their own political party (as opposed to others?).
This is how the Prime Minister answered awkward questions over the weekend:
“Every political party has a right to receive political donations,” he said, adding that the political donation was done in a proper and acceptable manner.
Mr Najib declined to reveal the source and added that the opposition also received political donations. ”The opposition also receives donations and they don’t disclose,”[New Straits Times]
Such claims deserve to be tested in court.