MACC panelist Abdul Rahman Dahlan's credibility is now under question after he openly defended Musa Aman over the RM40 million political donation
By Calvin Kabaron
KOTA BELUD: Kota Belud MP Abdul Rahman Dahlan has been reminded that he sits on a Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) panel and should not be too quick to jump and openly defend his Umno colleagues who are subject to corruption investigations.
Abdul Rahman sits on a MACC’s Special Committee on Anti-Corruption.
Last week he jumped to Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman’s defence over the RM40 million issue.
Commenting on this, Kota Belud State Reform Party (STAR) head Jalumin Bayogoh said Abdul Rahman’s defence of his party colleagues was an indication of a conflict of interest as he is supposed to help expose corruption and propose ways to strengthen approaches to stamp out graft and power abuses in the country.
“Last week he was very quick to defend the embattled Chief Minister Musa Aman, who is a subject on the still hotly-debated RM40 million issue, when he (Abdul Rahman) was never known to expose corrupt acts within the Barisan Nasional government.
“He might have compromised his position in the the special committee on graft which was established under the MACC Act. Moreover the the Swiss authorities are still investigating the Musa Aman matter,” Jalumin said.
Abdul Rahman had defended the government’s position in “clearing” Musa, saying that the RM40 million – being a political donation – was not Musa’s personal money but belonged to Sabah Umno.
He also accused the opposition of continuing to spin the issue after Malaysia’s authorities considered the case settled.
“What is the core business of Umno? It is a contribution from people for political activities. There is no law against anyone contributing money to political parties as long as they are accounted for.
“If I had RM1 billion and I like you and I gave you RM2 million, so what? As long as a receipt is given,” Abdul Rahman had said.
Abdul Rahman who is also Sabah BN secretary, challenged the opposition parties to reveal their own source of funding, saying they have not been transparent on theirs.
“Reveal your sources of income, how much have you collected from your donors. I have seen how Anwar (Ibrahim) in Permatang Pauh by-election threw money around,” he charged.
‘Chia was never arrested’
Asked about the claim by opposition parties that the RM40 million amounted to ‘foreign money’, Abdul Rahman reportedly said:” This is ridiculous, they are just having fun accusing Umno of everything.”
Last Thursday, Parliament was told that MACC had cleared Musa of graft and money-laundering allegations after finding that the over S$16 million (RM40 million) carried by businessman Michael Chia in Hong Kong in 2008 was not meant for the chief minister’s personal use but for Sabah Umno liaison body.
“It is not for the private use of the the chief minister,” Nazri said in a written reply to Batu MP Tian Chua.
The minister had also said the Attorney-General’s Chambers had shelved the matter after finding “no element of corruption” in the case.
Nazri’s reply also stated that the Hong Kong ICAC took no further action in the case after the MACC finding, while the request for cooperation in a criminal matter lodged over the Swiss bank account has been withdrawn for the same reason.
Earlier this year, Sarawak Report published documents purportedly from the ICAC that showed that a Swiss bank account in the name of a lawyer in Sabah contained some US$30 million (RM92 million) and was allegedly being held for Musa.
The report claimed that a paper trail showed that millions in euros, US dollars, Hong Kong and Singapore dollars were channeled from several firms to a number of British Virgin Island companies and subsequently to the Swiss account.
The transactions were believed to have been managed by Hong Kong-based timber trader Chia who was later arrested and charged with money laundering after attempting to smuggle S$16 million (RM40 million) back to Malaysia.
(On Aug 14, 2008, Chia, was caught red-handed at the Hong Kong International Airport with Singapore currency worth RM40 million in his luggage before be could board a flight to Kuala Lumpur)
However yesterday Nazri made yet another eye-opening remark in Parliament, claiming that Chia was never arrested by the ICAC in Hong Kong as was reported.
While Malaysia and Hong Kong are reportedly not pursuing the matter anymore from last week, the authorities in Switzerland are still investigating the case for money-laundering.
A powerful NGO, Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), is pressing for full investigations and is hoping that the famous Swiss banking secrecy would be lifted during a full investigation.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE / Artikel Asal