Malaysiakini : Muhyiddin was alleged
to have received RM1.3 million. Other prominent people said to have
received money, according to entries in a ledger and confirmed by a
former administrative manager of the company (Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd, or
UKSB), included Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who was alleged to
have received RM3.7 million.
Other prominent names in the UKSB
ledger include Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, then rural
development minister and Warisan head Shafie Apdal, then foreign
minister Anifah Aman and the then deputy foreign minister Reezal Merican
Naina Merican (now housing and local government minister). These names
were also mentioned in MACC’s forensic report.
is facing 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million
(RM42 million) from UKSB as an inducement for himself in his capacity as
a civil servant and the then home minister to extend the contract of
the company as the operator of the One-Stop Centre in China and the
Foreign Visa System (VLN) as well as to maintain the agreement to supply
VLN integrated system paraphernalia to the same company by the Home
For another seven counts, Zahid was charged as then home minister to
have obtained for himself S$1.150 million, RM3 million, €15,000 and
US$15,000 in cash from the same company in connection with his official
The latest allegations effectively widen the case to other key leaders. Muhyiddin has denied the allegations, saying that in July 2018, he had undergone surgery for cancer and had gone on leave for several months.
fact, on one of the dates mentioned by the witness where I reportedly
received the cash bribe, I was actually undergoing treatment at a
hospital abroad,” he said.
READ MORE: Fact check: Does Muhyiddin's denial match UKSB's ledger?
statement was disputed by, of all people, the one who claims to have
received a US$681 million “donation” from a Saudi prince, former prime
minister of 1MDB fame Najib Abdul Razak.
This “donation” to Najib
is over 2,000 times more than the alleged “political donation” to
Muhyiddin of RM1.3 million in total. Najib is facing criminal charges
over this and other matters.
Anyway, Najib maintained
that for all three alleged instalment payments totalling RM1.3 million
to Muhyiddin and dates of payments, news reports indicated that
Muhyiddin was well and out and about. Good of him to point that out.
to say, the MACC, so eager to investigate a sitting judge based on an
allegation by a discredited blogger and who once was (still is?) a
fugitive, has now said it will investigate the allegations.
is a rather curious statement considering that it was the investigating
authority then and all of UKSB’s ledger entries were available to it.
Did the ledger entries not pique their curiosity or were they so focused
on single-mindedly investigating Zahid that they ignored possible
questionable donations right under their noses to other prominent
In many of the current cases involving both
corruption and money laundering, the standard defence seems to be
political donations as if that alone is enough to remove blame from the
If indeed it is a political donation or a donation of
any sort, there is a process that has to be followed, and it should be
made to the political party and appropriately declared, not to an
individual, especially someone who is in a position of power to grant
very valuable favours.
For the MACC, surely it must know that the
line between political donation and corruption is quite clear and that a
lot of politicians clearly live beyond their means. It is up to them to
investigate and bring the cases to light.
By working together
with the police, the Inland Revenue Department and other regulatory and
enforcement authorities, it will be possible to build a comprehensive,
watertight case against them based on the laws of criminal breach of
trust, corruption and money laundering, amongst others.
At the end
of the day, it is a matter of political will - is there a desire to see
all crooks, including those who are politicians and those in positions
of power, brought to book and put where they belong - behind bars? How
could there be if the top is already rotten?
That will require a
sea change in Malaysian politics, attitudes and sensibilities, starting
with throwing this backdoor government out of power at the next polls.
That is the first step to re-initiate change to focus on the fight
against corruption - the mother of all ills - and to work for the
betterment of Malaysia and the rakyat.