February 11, 2011
The MAS and Robert Phang Story continues: Charge the KSU for not reporting a bribery attempt
by Din Merican
The MAS scandal is like a fiery comet flying across the sky. It has brought a trail of other scandals into light. The anonymous blogs are now saying that the losses which MAS suffered during Tajuddin Ramli’s time was not true. That it was just a just a fiction. That MAS was never heading towards bankruptcy and the Widespread Asset Unbundling (WAU) exercise was a scam. Who created the fiction and the scam?
Former MAS Managing Director must answer
The best person to answer this question is Dato’ Seri Idris Jala. He was once MAS Managing Director, now entrusted by Prime Minister Najib to implement the country’s Economic Transformation Plan (ETP). It was during Idris’ time that MAS pursued criminal and civil avenues to hold Tajuddin liable for MAS’ losses. So let Idris answer if the losses were just fiction. If it was fiction, then we have a lot to worry in leaving the whole country’s economic fortunes in the hands of Idris Jala.
New Conspiracy Theory
A new conspiracy theory is now being spun by Tajuddin’s supporters that he was booted out by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economic Planning Unit) Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop. So, Tajuddin’s henchman and proxy, Shahidan Shafie, with his wide tentacles in every law enforcement agency, including being A-G Gani Patail’s close friend, is now hunting those connected to Nor Mohamed. Shahidan is now exacting revenge for Tajuddin.
Only yesterday, the MACC charged Nor Mohamed Yakcop’s former political secretary, Hasbie Satar, for money-laundering. Hasbie, 37, from Sarawak (Idris Jala’s home state) appeared alone and unrepresented when he was charged under Section 4 (1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001. This offence carries a fine of RM5million or jail term of five years.
Targetting the High Performer Azman Mokhtar, Khazanah Nasional CEO
Now Tajuddin and Shahidan are targeting the founders of the consultancy firm, Bina Fikir, which was responsible for WAU. Using the blogs, they have linked Nor Mohamed to Bina Fikir’s founders, Rashdan and Cambridge educated Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar who is now heading Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the nation’s investment arm. There are whispers within Khazanah that MACC has been busy visiting Khazanah on uncorroborated allegations. It seems that high performer Azman Mokhtar is being harassed using the MACC. It seems nobody is safe from the wrath of Tajuddin Ramli.
Bribery Allegation Against Robert Phang
Earlier on, using the same anonymous blogs they made an allegation that Tan Sri Robert Phang had attempted to bribe a Secretary-General or Ketua Setiausaha (KSU) of a ministry. To seek vindication and to be cleared early of these allegations, Tan Sri Robert Phang has resigned from the MACC Panel to facilitate the investigations. Since then, the MACC has gone quiet. Instead of hastening their investigation to clear Robert Phang, the MACC seems to be doing nothing. Or is something being planned so that the KSU in question will co-operate with the agenda?
What do we know about the bribery allegation? The allegation is that sometime before Hari Raya of 2010, the KSU of a Ministry which was awarding a contract worth RM 900 million had had chased Tan Sri Robert Phang out of his office because Phang tried to bribe him. What is so difficult to investigate this allegation?
Just interview the KSU concerned. If the KSU says that story is a lie,that’s the end of it. The MACC should announce that finding openly and then clear Robert Phang so that he can qualify for an extension when the MACC Panel’s term is renewed after February 24. Why is the MACC dragging its feet? Is there any reason in delaying the investigation? Is it to disqualify Phang from seeking re-appointment. Clearly public opinion is behind Phang to be re-appointed in that Panel because Phang is the lone voice who has refused to be a rubberstamp.
On the other hand, if the KSU confirms the bribery allegation, then further investigations must be conducted. The KSU must be asked if he had reported that incident to his immediate boss, the Ketua Setiausaha Negara (KSN). If he did, what did the KSN advise him to do? Did the KSN direct him to lodge a report with the MACC? If neither of them reported to the MACC, then both of the KSN and the KSU should be hauled up and charged for failing to report a bribery. That is an offence under s. 25 of the MACC Act which provides as follows:
S. 25 Duty to report bribery transactions
(1) Any person to whom any gratification is given, promised, or offered, in contravention of any provision of this Act shall report such gift, promise or offer together with the name, if known, of the person who gave, promised or offered such gratification to him to the nearest officer of the commission or police officer.
(2) Any person who fails to comply with subsection (1) commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or to both.
(3) Any person from whom any gratification has been solicited or obtained, or an attempt has been made to obtain such gratification, in contravention of any provision of this Act shall at the earliest opportunity thereafter report such soliciting or obtaining of, or attempt to obtain, the gratification together with the full and true description and if known, the name of the person who solicited, or obtained, or attempted to obtain, the gratification from him to the nearest officer of the commission or police officer.
(4) Any person who fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with subsection (3) commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding ten thousand ringgit or to imprisonment.
That is how simple the investigation should be. That is how simple it is to ascertain if the KSU, the MACC and the A-G are trying to fix Robert Phang for speaking out about A-G Gani Patail’s connections to Shahidan Shafie and Tajuddin Ramli. Let the KSU be forewarned that he can be fined RM100,000 and imprisoned for 10 years if now tries to fix Phang by admitting there was such a bribery attempt .
If the KSU tries to play ball now, whereas he did not report that bribery attempt in September of 2010, then I have no hesitation to say that the public have every right to demand that MACC charge the KSU for not reporting the bribery attempt!