What’s happening, man?

By Hakim Joe 

In 1965, D.R. Seenivasagam of PPP (then in Opposition), made allegations of corruption against the education minister Abdul Rahman Talib of UMNO in Parliament. ART challenged DRS to repeat these accusations outside Parliament which DRS promptly did. ART took DRS to court for defamation. After a long trial, DRS lost and resigned from Parliament. He was then posted to Egypt as the Malaysian ambassador.

In 1977, former UMNO Youth Chief and Selangor MB, Harun Idris was arrested on corruption charges relating to the Muhammad Ali-Joe Bugner boxing match in Kuala Lumpur in 1975. He was found guilty on various charges of corruption and was sentenced to six years' imprisonment. In 1981, Harun was released after receiving a royal pardon from the Agong on advice from TDM. 

In 1981, Malaysian government’s failed attempts to corner the world tin market caused the Malaysian taxpayers in excess of RM1.6 billion. To cover the losses, Makuwasa was secretly setup in 1984 as a Bumiputera trust company and allocated allotments of public share issues at preferential prices, allotments that should have gone to EPF instead. However Makusawa, despite such favourable intervention by the federal government, lost money instead of making a massive profit. 

Also in 1981, Malaysia purchased 26 units of the British Alvis Scorpion tanks. First, its recommended Rolls-Royce gasoline engines were replaced with slower diesel ones making the 90km/h vehicle now only doing a top speed of 60km/h. Secondly, the .75mm guns were replaced with .90mm guns making it so heavy that the aluminium turret had to be replaced by a steel turret. This in turn made the vehicle so top-heavy that troops using it were scared that it will topple over. The tanks had also had to be stopped every time it fired its gun, making it literally a sitting duck. 

In 1983, there was the BMF scandal involving Bank Bumiputera in Hong Kong. Its losses were the largest of bank failures in the world then. BMF gave loans after loans to Hong Kong property group Carrian and ended up losing over RM2 billion in all. To top it off, a Bank Bumiputera internal auditor sent to Hong Kong was found murdered and his body dumped in a banana plantation. Tengku Razaleigh (BBMB Chairman) and Musa Hitam (DPM) were both implicated in the BMF scandal and during Hisham Shamsuddin’s (BBMB Executive Director) subsequent trial in Hong Kong, his lawyers claimed that he was merely following direct instructions from TDM and MH. 

Also in 1983, Malaysia took first delivery of its 186 SIBMAS armoured personnel carriers. This was supposed to be a rapid deploying vehicle that can be loaded into an airplane and flown to East Malaysia in case of trouble with Indonesia or Singapore. However, this carrier was so big that its tires had to be deflated before it could be loaded into an airplane. When the local media reported on the vehicle’s lack of combat effectiveness, they were threatened with prosecution under Malaysia’s Official Secrets Act.  

In 1987 during the Kampung Baru rally, then UMNO Youth chief Najib Razak vowed to bathe the keris with Chinese blood. He is the current PM of Malaysia. 

In 1989, the Parliamentary deputy speaker D.P. Vijandran from MIC was accused of starring in a few home-made sex videos which he denied. He was however convicted in 1994 on a perjury charge relating to the tapes, and was jailed and fined. He lost his appeal in the High Court, but the Court of Appeal ruled in his favour in 1998. 

In 1994, the Malacca CM Rahim Thamby Chik was accused of having sex with a minor. He denied the accusations but had to quit as CM after photographs surfaced on the media. RTC was cleared in the same year by the Attorney-General. He is now a member of the UMNO Supreme Council. 

Also in 1994, BNM made the biggest losses (over RM30 billion) from foreign exchange trading. Nor Mohamed Yakcop was implicated but never charged. He is now the Minister in the PM’s department. 

In 1995, Stamford Holdings sued former Johor CM Muhyiddin Yassin for alleged conspiracy in acquiring land in Johor through the Land Acquisition Act. In 1999, Stamford Holdings was awarded RM405 million. MY is now the DPM of Malaysia. 

In 1996, Eric Chia and government-owned Perwaja Steel made a loss of RM10 billion of which 40% were bailout money infused by the Federal Government. ACA’s report on this scandal was never released and the Auditor-General’s report was never made public. Eric Chia was later charged with CBT to the amount of RM76.4 million when he allegedly authorised NKK Corp of Japan to deposit that amount into the account of Frilsham Enterprise Inc instead into Perwaja accounts. He was later acquitted. 

In 1997, Mat Taib was forced to resign as Selangor MB after he was charged in Australia over currency irregularities amounting to RM3.8 million. He was however found not guilty after he pleaded that he did not understand English and therefore did not understand the currency regulations. Mat Taib is currently the UMNO Information chief. 

In 2002, Defense Minister Najib’s best friend, Abdul Razak Baginda brokered the purchase of 3 submarines from France and received RM510 million in commissions. 

In 2003, just after his ascendancy to the MCA presidency, Ong Ka Ting was photographed together with Ong King Ee aka Jackie Chan, the “dragonhead’ of the notorious Sio Sam Ong triad. 

Also in 2003, former Malacca CM and Land and Development Minister Mohamad Adib Adam brokered the purchase of 18 Sukhoi-20MKM jet fighters and received RM384 million as commission. 

In 2004 PSC-Naval Dockyard, owned by Amin Shah failed to make delivery of 6 patrol boats. Subsequent investigation by the Auditor-General showed that the ministry had paid out RM4.26 billion to PSC up to December 2006 although only RM2.87 billion of work had been done, an overpayment of RM1.39 billion, or 48 percent. In addition, Malaysia’s cabinet waived late penalties of RM214 million. Between December 1999, according to the Auditor General, 14 “progress payments” amounting to RM943 million despite the fact that the auditor general could find no payment vouchers or relevant documents dealing with the payments. 

In 2005, then UMNO Youth Chief Hishamuddin started his annual keris waving at the UMNO Annual General Meeting. This was to be the onset of an annual action until the keris was retired after the 2009 UMNO AGM and presented to him as a souvenir. In 2009, he was promoted from Education Minister to Home Minister. 

Late in 2005, 2nd Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop announced that Bank Islam reported a loss of RM700 million. Subsequent investigation reports were never released. No White Paper was ever tabled in Parliament. 

In 2006, Zakaria Mat Deros was accused and found guilty of not submitting construction plans of his Istana Idaman. He was then the Port Klang assemblyman and a member of the Klang Municipal Council member. Follow up investigations also revealed that ZMD has not paid the assessment for another property for 12 years and that his family was operating an illegal satay restaurant on government reserve land. ZMD was dropped from the Selangor Barisan Nasional line-up for the following general election. 

Also in 2006, then Matrade chairperson and Minister of International Trade and Industry Rafidah “AP Queen” Aziz was accused by former PM TDM of corruption related to the issuance of Approved Permits for importing foreign vehicles. RAA was never charged in court but lost her Wanita UMNO chief position in the 2009 party elections after a handover plan was reneged by the eventual winner. 

This year also saw Mohd Said Yusof of UMNO allegedly asked the Melaka Customs and Excise Department for special treatment in the handling of an illegal timber import shipment from Indonesia. When this was denied, MSY told the press that although he felt the decision was right, some discretion should have been exercised in order to aid the Bumiputera entrepreneur whose interests were affected. The affected company Binyu Sof Enterprise was in fact his own company. 

The biggest event in 2006 was reserved for Abdul Razak Baginda, a close pal of PM Najib, who was arrested for complexity in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu. PM Najib was also accused of involvement as a SMS transcript of his text messages to ARB was disclosed to the press. ARB was acquitted in 2008 but the two personal bodyguards of PM Najib’s wife were charged with the murder. 

The Altantuya murder case even eclipsed the Public Works Department’s announcement that the Malaysian government has paid a total of RM38.5 billion in compensation to 20 toll operators. 

In 2007, then Health Minister Chua Soi Lek was secretly taped having extramarital sex with another woman other than his legal spouse. He promptly resigned all his political positions but made a comeback in 2009. In the ensuing MCA elections, he was elected as the deputy president of the party. 

Also in 2007, Mohd Said Yusof together with Bung Mokhtar Radin made the infamous “bocor” sexist remark targeted at Fong Po Kuan. Both the UMNO politicians were forced to issue a public apology to all Malaysian women a few days later. 

2007 also saw Samy Vellu announcing that Malaysian Government compensated Gerbang Perdana to the tune of RM257.4 million for aborting the planned construction of TDM’s crooked bridge over the Singapore Straits. It was later made known that the total cost of cancellation exceeds the actual construction cost by RM164 million. Gerbang Perdana was later awarded another RM470 million road works without an open tender being called. 

In 2008, Bukit Bendera MP Ahmad “Mamak” Ismail made racist remarks which led to his suspension from UMNO. He was initially removed as a MPPP councillor after being declared a bankrupt in 2006. 

Also in 2008, Deputy Education Minister Razali Ismail announced that the government has spent RM2.21 billion for the purchase of ICT equipment over the past five years. He was however unable to supply a breakdown on these purchases. 

In 2009, then SIL of former PM Abdullah fell out of favor of the UMNO Warlords and was accused and found guilty of corruption. KJ was however allowed to contest in the UMNO elections after a reprimand and was elected as the new UMNO Youth Chief. 

At the same venue UMNO Chief Minister for Malacca, Mohd. Ali Rustam was also found guilty of corruption but he was not as lucky as KJ. MAR was barred from contesting in the UMNO elections but allowed to keep his CM position but his political secretary Saadun Basirun was suspended for three years. 

Also in 2009, TDM accused MIC President Samy Vellu of “killing the Indians in Malaysia”. RM2 million only 50,000sf palatial mansion owner, former Selangor MB and dentist extraordinaire Khir Toyo soon followed suit uttering the same sentiments.  

What’s next?