Aman-gate: ‘Charge in court, or we bring to public court’

Teoh El Sen | April 9, 2012

PKR wants Foreign Minister Anifah Aman and his brother Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman to resign pending investigation into their alleged involvement in a scandal.

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR today demanded that both Foreign Minister Anifah Aman and his brother Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman take leave from their respective posts pending further action on their alleged involvement in a tens of millions of ringgit worth of secret timber concessions and money laundering.

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail should also be suspended from his duties for his reluctance to bring charges against the two despite a two-year-old Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation which had recommended prosecution.

“We are giving Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and the government the opportunity, one week to be exact, to respond to this. Bring these people to court or we will bring this issue to the public courts, like how we did to the National Feedlot Corporation [NFC] scandal. In fact, this is bigger than NFC,” PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli said at the Parliament lobby.

PKR deputy secretary-general Darell Leiking, who was with Rafizi, is also leading a special task force formed specifically to obtain information into this emerging scandal and he has since interviewed many witnesses.

“We can reveal documents to the media involving thousands of pages, including bank slips that show the various transfer of monies.”

“We are confident that the evidence that we have in our hands implicate the three public figures… this evidence will be revealed in stages until all those involved have been brought to book,” Leiking said.

Several days ago, leaked Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) documents revealed that Gani had allegedly shelved files on the investigation and refused to prosecute Anifah or Musa over allegations that the Sabah chief minister had corruptly issued timber licences to his brother worth tens of millions of ringgit.

Investigations were prompted after Musa’s “agent” Michael Chia was arrested in Hong Kong in 2008 and MACC investigations later unearthed details of the secret timber concessions within the family and Gani’s close ties to the Aman family.

Insufficient evidence

MACC investigations into the Chia case led to the revelations of tens of millions of ringgit worth of timber concessions which Musa had awarded his brother Anifah and nephew Hairul from the time he assumed power in 2003.

Gani himself is from Lahad Datu, one of many entry points for illegal immigrants in Sabah. Gani’s wife is connected to Musa’s close associate, Johan Abdul Samad who is also the deputy director of

Yayasan Sabah. Anifah’s wife is Samad’s sister. Musa himself is chairman of Yayasan Sabah, which holds monopoly over Sabah’s forest.

Chia was detained by the Hong Kong authorities at the Hong Kong International Airport for alleged money trafficking. He was caught trying to smuggle out of Hong Kong some S$16 million (RM40 million).

Apparently when he was caught, Chia told the Hong Kong authorities that the money was for Musa.

Revealing the depth of the “secret” deals, online news portal, Sarawak Report, posted that Gani had refused to allow charges to be brought against Musa and Najib was “scandalously turning a blind eye to the affair”.

“Gani had forced the MACC to shelve its entire investigation in Sabah,which was one of the largest and most extensive ever undertaken by that body and involved sums amounting to billions of ringgit, siphoned out of the state by corruption at the highest level.”

Last week, MACC deputy commissioner (operations) Mohd Shukri Abdull had complained that the Attorney-General’s Chambers had refused to bring many “valid cases” the commission had investigated to court due to “insufficient evidence”.

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