October 26, 2012
Phang on Musagate
by Hafiz Yatim (10-25-12) @http://www.malaysiakini.com
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his government will be setting an unusual precedent if there is no transparency coming forth on the RM40 million channelled to Sabah UMNO.
Such a pitfall, if not sanely tackled, will be perceived as the Prime Minister condoning such acts, says former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Adviser Robert Phang.
“It means that if a person is caught (channelling) the funds, it would be deemed a political contribution, and if he is not caught, then it would be considered as ‘sendirian berhad’ (your own),” Phang said, mockingly.
“This will put a damper on the government’s fight against corruption and bring the Government Transformation Programme to naught if this is not done transparently. It will set a bad precedent and will be dangerous for BN to allow this.”
During the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA) conference, the issue of political contributions was raised and the panel agreed that it can be considered as corruption if it was not done in a transparent manner.
Yesterday, former UMNO supreme council member and present Independent MP Lajim Ukin said he never knew Sabah UMNO had so much money.
Phang (right), who is also Social Just Care chairperson, then trained his sights on the Prime Minister’s advisers and Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail, who also hails from Sabah, for possibly ill-advising Najib Abdul Razak.
He said they must surely be advising Najib in dealing with the RM40 million political donation issue, and felt that Prime Minister had been grossly ill-advised in the whole affair.
Phang called on Najib to seriously look at the adverse effects of the situation and the subtle messages it implied.
“Gani should also be advising Najib in terms of the law with regard to this… the rakyat will perceive that this is being condoned,” he said, adding this would reflect badly on BN. Phang said such nonsense should stop.
‘Somebody is not telling the truth’
Phang also said the contrasting nature in the de facto Law Minister’s explanation on which agency cleared Musa – whether it was the MACC or Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) – raised further questions.
Somebody, he believed, did not get the facts right before speaking to Parliament on the issue.
“Somebody is not telling the truth and the controversy definitely invites further sparks, as well as a need to re-look at the structure of the MACC.There is no independence in the MACC investigations as Abdul Razak Musa, (head of legal and prosecution in MACC) and Anthony Kevin Morais are representatives of the Attorney-General’s Chambers. The two not only monitor, but they advise directly and interfere in the investigations as they did when the MACC investigated me,” said Phang.
On a macro level, he said, MACC seemed all right but at the micro level, there were problems.
Phang, is fully aware of the MACC investigating procedures, still believes the MACC has not completed its probe into the RM40 million, judging from the explanation given by its deputy chief commissioner (operations) Mohd Shukri Abdull’s (left) earlier this month.
Shukri had on October 5 said the operations evaluation panel of the MACC had instructed MACC, after it reported having completed its probe, to investigate further on Musa.
“I believe in Shukri saying it (the investigations) are not completed yet. I feel sorry that the Prime Minster may be misled or has been given the wrong advice. Who is Nazri Abdul Aziz to clear Musa?” Phang asked.