‘Friendship’ turned nightmare for Musa

Chief Minister Musa Aman’s bogeyman case has become a nightmare for his officers in the CM’s office.

(FMT) – KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Chief Minister’s office is keenly watching an ongoing court case involving a businessman whom Chief Minister Musa Aman has previously claimed he did not know.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) case against one Michael Chia Tien Foh has got Musa’s office sufficiently hot and bothered that it has even “advised” the mainstream media to avoid mention of the case, sources said.

Most have taken the advice to heart and there is little news in the mainstream media that the MACC case against the businessman was winding its way through the courts until one newspaper unexpectedly published a court decision that Musa’s bogeyman must face trial.

Musa has been haunted by the controversial businessman since 2008 when the latter was arrested in Hong Kong as he was about to exit the country with a bag stuffed with cash amounting to some S$16 million.

In the subsequent investigations, Chia reportedly told the Hong Kong’s Independent Commission on Anti-Corruption (ICAC) that the money was not his and actually belonged to Musa.

Musa, who also heads Umno in resource-rich Sabah, is still the subject of ongoing concurrent investigations in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland involving a Swiss UBS bank account under his name that allegedly has $100 million.

The Swiss prosecutor has stated that the government would freeze the account if the Malaysian government requested they do so.

Recently, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak revealed that investigation reports on the Musa’s cases were with the Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail.

But the opposition has grabbed hold of the scandal and refuses to let go, alleging that the trail of alleged illegal dealings leads right to Najib’s office.

Chia ordered to enter defence

PKR vice-president, Tian Chua, has claimed that leaked MACC investigation papers disclosed that Musa told investigators that the $100 million under his name in the UBS account was not his but Umno’s and as such directly implicates Najib.

Now that the controversial Sabah businessman has been ordered to enter his defence on a charge of attempting to cheat another local businessman over the right to log and extract commercial timber at the Kalabakan Forest Reserve, Musa is furtively watching the case.

On Aug 24, Sandakan High Court judge Supang Lian set aside the acquittal of Chia by the Sessions Court and set Sept 12 for the mention of Chia’s case at the Sessions Court.

Supang, in allowing the prosecution’s appeal against Chia on Aug 24, however, dismissed the prosecution’s appeal against the acquittal of another businessman Lo Man Heng jointly charged with Chia, ruling that the link between Lo and the offence had not been established.

Both Chia and Lo, who were charged under Section 420 of Penal Code, had been acquitted by the Sessions Court on Sept 23 last year without their defence being called.