ICAC wants ‘transactional’ info for new probe, says Rafizi

Zurairi AR, The Malaysian Insider

Hong Kong graftbusters may renew their probe into the murky RM40 million “political donation” to Sabah Umno if provided with evidence to show the funds were transacted on the island, PKR’s Rafizi Ramli said today.

“I’m very confident that the case will be re-opened. From our discussion with ICAC, they have given an easy evidence test,” the PKR strategy director said in a press conference here, referring to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

“And we do have evidence, documents. That’s why we need to return in two weeks,” said Rafizi, who led a team of PKR lawmakers to Hong Kong on Wednesday in a bid to get authorities there to renew their investigations into the matter.

Rafizi and his team were reluctant, however, to divulge details on the evidence, other than to say it met the ICAC’s requirment, for fear of jeopardising their sources and the investigation.

“There are like three or four files,” Rafizi said, refusing to elaborate further.

Yesterday, the PKR team furnished fresh evidence to the ICAC on Datuk Musa Aman’s RM40 million graft case and were invited to return with more proof on the Sabah chief minister’s alleged money-laundering link with businessman Michael Chia.

According to Rafizi today, the team had met with the Acting Chief Investigator of ICAC Martin Chan Chi-wah, after an immediate appointment was requested by senior Hong Kong legislative councillor James To Kun-sun.

The PKR lawmakers also met with their Hong Kong counterparts To, Leung Kwok-hung and Raymond Wong, who are part of the legislative council’s Security Panel, to which the ICAC answers.

In PKR’s report, three reasons were listed to encourage the world-renowned ICAC to reopen the RM40 million graft probe against Musa and Chia — separate claims from two Sabah MPs that the money was not a political donation to Umno as claimed; and the receipt of a luxury vehicle from Chia by Umno minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz, possibly for corrupt reasons.

“They did give us a reference number and I think that by practice here, all cases are opened once a report is lodged,” Rafizi said yesterday in a phone call to The Malaysian Insider.

The fact-finding mission, which had just touched down from Hong Kong, also included PKR MPs William Leong and Lee Hoy Sian, and Perak assemblyman Chang Lih Kang.

Chang and Leong also revealed that HK representatives whom they met were greatly concerned that the island’s image as a financial capital will be tarnished by allegations of graft and money-laundering.

“They hope we can bring justice in Hong Kong and Malaysia,” Leong said.

“It is the responsibility of anyone to help ICAC in investigating money laundering cases … so that Hong Kong will not be made into a ‘paradise of money-laundering’,” Chang added.

Chia’s alleged link with Musa first exploded in the media following an April article by whistleblower site Sarawak Report, which had claimed that former was caught trying to leave the Hong Kong International Airport with the RM40 million in Singapore currency.