Did the MACC miss out on Mahathir and Rafidah?

TTF: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) conducted a search at Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Tan Sri Musa Aman’s residence on Wednesday (see news item below). Well and fair.

Question is, was there no search conducted at Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s residence amid allegations that he and his sons received millions upon millions of illegitimate wealth that originated from the nation’s coffers? Did the MACC miss out on Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, who stands accused of receiving millions in kickbacks from Approved Permit (AP) deals?

On the 28th of March 2018, I wrote the following (in orange):

On the 28th of October 2009, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) announced revisions to the National Automotive Policy (NAP) with the stated intent of invigorating the automotive sector. The newly minted administration of Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak was determined to liberalise the national economy by doing away with the crony-centric safeguards Dr Mahathir Mohamad introduced back in the eighties.

Najib knew that the safeguards Mahathir introduced were loopholes through which the former premier’s cronies were benefitting illegally from. It is for this reason, above all, that the Prime Minister committed to phasing out the Approved Permit (AP) system that the Government of Malaysia (GoM) introduced back in 1983. But he wasn’t rash about the whole affair.

On the contrary, he agreed to extend the system for 10 years with hopes that the Bumiputera segment would get its act together before the protectionist barrier was demolished. Najib knew that the demolition of the barrier would trigger a considerable drop in showroom prices as more and more players partook in the import of cars. On the whole, the reforms held the promise of safeguarding consumer interests while presenting manufacturers with the opportunity for expansion and growth.

But not everyone was pleased.

One of those who probably foamed in the mouth was Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, the former Minister of International Trade and Industry. Having led the ministry for 21 years, this lady was given a free hand to push the yes and no buttons in ways that benefitted the staunchest of her proponents in more ways than one. What bothered ministry insiders most was the lackadaisical attitude she displayed when it was brought to her attention that AP holders were trading permits under the counter in cash terms and through the solicitation of business favours.

And we’re talking 156 out of 254 companies that, throughout her tenure, lost their permits due to abuse in the system. The abuse added thousands upon thousands of dollars – not ringgit – to the retail cost of imported cars, meaning, Malaysians were paying a helluva lot of money for the average Mercedes and Volvo due to the exorbitant rates with which APs were being sold.

Needless to say, someone somewhere chalked up millions upon millions a year through ‘commissions’ he (or she) was not supposed to earn. Now, chuck all of this information into the truth cauldron, and throw a pinch or two of some common sense – can you already smell the fish curry simmering?

Then, on the 2nd of May 2018, I posted the following (in orange):

In the past, Tun Mahathir will raid Petronas for funds for his projects – KLCC, Sepang circuit, Putrajaya etc – or use Petronas to bail-out this or that person including his son.

That is why Petronas cash balances seldom exceeded RM30 billion under Tun Mahathir’s time.

As at the end of 2017, Petronas now has a cash balance of RM128.2 billion. This is likely to be more now due to the higher oil prices so far in 2018 as well as the full payment of US$9 billion (about RM30 billion) by Saudi Aramco to buy into the Pengerang project that was received by Petronas last month.

Why does the MACC not investigate these matters? Has nobody reported on them yet, or has the agency marked the files “No Action?” If indeed nobody has lodged reports, it is best that the agency makes it known publicly so that we at TTF can arrange for reports to be lodged.

KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) conducted a search at Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Tan Sri Musa Aman’s residence on Wednesday.

However, no files or documents were seized from the former chief minister’s Luyang home.

Musa’s legal counsel, Zahir Shah, confirmed this and said no one was at home when the search took place.

“Yes, the MACC did go to Tan Sri Musa’s house. But… no files or documents (were) confiscated. That’s all I can comment,” he said.

It was reported that Zahir was present at the gates of Musa’s home when the MACC team turned up on Wednesday, but the team was initially unable to enter the house as the occupants were not present.

It is unclear whether the search is related to MACC’s investigation of Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star) president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan over the party’s partnership with Sabah BN to form the state government.

The MACC recently investigated Jeffrey over an allegation that he received RM20 million from a certain party following the 14th general election (GE14).

In the GE14, Star won two state seats and joined forces with Sabah BN to form a state government, paving the way for Musa to be sworn-in as chief minister on May 10.

Two days later, however, Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal was sworn in as chief minister after six assemblymen exited the Musa-led government to join a Warisan-Pakatan Harapan pact.

Source: NST Online

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