Monday, April 9, 2012

CORRUPTION : M'sian Foreign Minister named in MACC probe into Sabah Timber

Sunday, 08 April 2012 21:09

CORRUPTION: M'sian Foreign Minister named in MACC probe into Sabah Timber

Written by  Sarawak Report
According to Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) documents obtained by Sarawak Report, Malaysia’s Foreign Minister, Anifar Aman, has been the secret beneficiary of lucrative timber licences in Sabah’s dwindling Forest Reserves.
The concessions came thanks to his brother, the local Chief Minister, Musa Aman.
The documents form part of a major investigation by the MACC into timber corruption, after an agent and nominee for Musa Aman, Michael Chia, was caught attempting to smuggle SG$16million out of Hong Kong in 2008.
We can reveal that the leaked papers show that investigators concluded that the Chief Minister had corruptly issued timber licences to his brother worth tens of millions of ringgit in their home state.
However, the investigation has been blocked at the highest levels and its findings kept secret, until now.
Our informants say that the brothers’ relative and fellow Sabahan, Attorney General, Abdul Gani bin Patail, has refused to allow charges to be brought and PM, Najib Razak, has scandalously turned a blind eye to the affair.
Virgin Forest Reserve was cleared by Aman
The documents in our possession list two major concessions and a salvaging and purchase arrangement with Yayasan Sabah for felled logs. The beneficiaries of the deals are listed as Anifar Aman and Hairul Aman, a nephew. Yayasan Sabah’s Forest Manager, Mohd Daud Tampokong was identified as the man who had authorised the agreements.
Named - Anifah and his nephew were named as the believed beneficiaries of these concessions in this MACC document detailing who had what timber concession in Sabah
We can see from the document that one set of deals was conducted through the company Aktif Syabas Sdn Bhd. The company was licensed to harvest 4,336 hectares of timber in block YS (Yayasan Sandakan) 1/02 and to further salvage and purchase ‘residual logs’ in  Benta Wawasan’s concession BW2/00(1), an area of 3,000 hectares.
Musa Aman, former Yayasan Executive, turned politician. How come his brother was one of the first beneficiaries of a timber licence of virgin Forest Reserve, according to MACC documents?
However, the other deal, made with the company Para Era Sdn Bhd, is even more shocking. It allows the concessionaire to extract timber from 2,000 hectares of virgin forest at the Pinagah Forest Reserve:
“Log extraction contract to harvest timber with 60-120cm dbh from a 2,000 ha of virgin forest at the Pinangah Forest reserve”. (see above table extract)
According to the document produced by the MACC, the parties behind these deals was Anifah Aman and his nephew Hairul, who are named on the document.
It is therefore noteworthy that both licences were awarded shortly after Anifah’s brother, Musa Aman (left) became Chief Minister and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Yayasan Sabah in 2003.
Tragically, our information is that the Forest Reserve was totally razed by 2007, despite the strictures about only felling trees over 60cm.
This MACC information substantiates complaints from within the industry that Musa Aman has turned existing corruption in Sabah’s timber business into a full-scale rape of the remaining forests in the state:
“He has maximised the kickback squeeze” confided one insider to Sarawak Report
Gani connection
Attorney General - Abdul Gani has prevented the MACC's investigation into Sabah timber corruption from proceeding
None of the public documents of these companies actually name Aman as the beneficiary.
However, insiders claim that the use of nominees is standard in the Sabah timber business and clearly the investigation by MACC officials led them to conclude, after months of investigation, that the Foreign Minister was the true concessionaire.
Yet, this conclusion by the MACC has never been tested in court, because the  Attorney General, Abdul Gani biin Patail, who is also from Lahad Datu in Sabah and closely connected to the Aman family, has refused to pursue the case.
Indeed the Attorney General has forced the MACC to shelve its entire investigation in Sabah, which was one of the largest and most extensive ever undertaken by that body and involved sums amounting to billions of ringgit, siphoned out of the state by corruption at the highest level.
So, it is surely of concern that, given Abdul Gani’s close family relationship to the Musa brothers, the Attourney General did not withdraw from the decision over whether to continue with the case.
Gani's wife is married to the sister of Musa's close associate, Johan Abdul Samad, Deputy Director of Yayasan Sabah and Samad's own sister is Foreign Minister Anifah's wife!
In such cases, where there is a plain conflict of interest, the government’s top law officer has to be seen to be acting from a position of impartiality. However, he has done the opposite and used his position to block any action on the huge body of evidence showing corruption in Sabah at the highest levels of state government and beyond.
Official shareholders - Aktif Syabas Sdn Bhd has been identified as a company linked to the Foreign Minister and his nephew
The political interests are equally glaring. Gani, who gained a mere 3rd class law degree at the University of Malaya, has never been regarded as one of the country’s best legal minds, yet he has been promoted to the top of the judiciary.
Critics regard him as primarily a BN ‘yes man’, appointed to a pole position to protect corrupted politicians.
With Malaysia rocketing to the top of the international league for illegal capital flight, many are concerned that it Gani’s refusal to allow high level corruption investigations to go ahead that has allowed BN politicians to continue to siphon out the country’s wealth unhindered.
Tragic loss of a Forest Reserve in Sabah
No habitat left for the world's most endangered species - this Sabah jungle has been almost wiped out since Musa Aman became Chief Minister
Meanwhile, our research has calculated the monetary value of the loss of the Pinangah Forest Reserve to the company Para Era Sdn Bhd.
Under the licence, this precious area of bio-diversity was supposed only to be selectively logged.
Indeed, according to insiders only around 20% of the available timber in the 2,000 hectare concession was ever officially reported and taxed by the authorities.
Yet the area has been completely razed, after becoming  caught up in a mysterious scandal, involving allegations of illegal logging that were later dropped by the MACC.
In the headline-grabbing case in 2007, 20 lorries were detained and 5,000 logs worth millions were seized during an MACC raid against clear-felling in this region by workers, supposedly working without a licence.  It was one of the biggest round-ups of alleged illegal loggers ever in Malaysia.
The result of this logging, as so many other cases, was the destruction of this virgin forest reserve.
MACC inspectors conducting the raid on illegal logging in the Sabah area in 2007
Yet, despite the raids and promises of a full enquiry, in the end the authorities never made a single arrest!
Having at first declared it would cooperate to track down the people behind this illegal logging, the Forestry Department’s Sam Mannan later declared that the loggers had been legal after all and in possession of a permit.
This was in spite of the clear felling of the area and the fact that only a fraction of the available timber was declared!
These contradictions have never been explained and the MACC has given up trying to prosecute the case.
It leaves many suspicions unanswered.  In particular there is a well known track record of some timber concessions using back door illegal logging to harvest their own areas, in order to avoid the taxes and restrictions imposed against clear felling.
So, if those caught clear-felling the jungle had permits after all, why have the company and the Forestry Department not come clear about what on earth has been going on and why the area has been destroyed?
A crime worth tens of millions
YS6/04 - the area of once virgin jungle that was handed to Para Era Sdn Bhd and destroyed
Whoever did benefit from the destruction of Pinangah made tens of millions.
Experts say that virgin jungle provides 100 cubic metres of wood per hectare.  Licence holders are supposed to pay Yayasan Sabah (the State) RM55 and the Forestry Department RM95 per cubic metre logged, a total of RM150 in tax.
This should afford a profit to the licence holder of RM30million for a 2,000 hectare area.
However, because the entire area has been harvested and very little declared, it turns out that roughly 200,000 cubic metres of wood have been extracted without paying that RM150 per cubic metre in tax!  This means a total of around RM30million in tax avoidance.
Mystery money
So, someone has made RM60million out of felling this concession, double the already substantial RM30million of profit that would have made if the logging had been taxed.
And they have destroyed the landscape in the process and denied revenue to the people of Sabah.
Yet, because of the failure to conclude a proper investigation and prosecution into the case, it has not been established whether those responsible were genuine illegal loggers, or someone to do with the actual concession holders.
And, because the MACC has been blocked into its own investigations into the corruption surrounding the issuing of this concession in the first place, it has not been established whether the licence is indeed corruptly linked to Anifah Aman, the brother of the Chief Minister of Sabah and the Foreign Minister of Malaysia.
YS means Yayasan Sandakan - the Forest Department map showing the Forest Reserve area that was destroyed
According to the leaked papers in our possession, the MACC investigators did believe there was such a corrupt link and that Aman was the beneficiary.
As a result, there remain an awful lot of questions officially unanswered over what is just part of one of Malaysia’s worst corruption scandals.  Luckily, Sarawak Report now has a mass of evidence relating to the suppressed MACC enquiry, which it will be revealing to the public over coming days!
- Sarawak Report













 Monday, 09 April 2012 10:39

TIMBER CORRUPTION: PKR to hold press conference on Anifah and Musa

Written by  Melissa Lee, Malaysia Chronicle


PKR leaders will hold a press conference this afternoon to divulge further details concerning Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, who was accused of corruption in timber and logging concessions by whistle-blower website Sarawak Report.
Anifah's borther, Musa Aman who is the Sabah Chief Minister, has also been accused of involvement.
Special Task Force
According to PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli, PKR deputy secretary-general Darell Leiking will be attending this afternoon press conference as well.
Darell has been part of the Special Task Force set up by PKR to investigate into the roles played by the Aman brothers in Sabah's lucrative but notoriously 'dirty' timber industry for the past 3 months.
The press conference will be held at the Parliament lobby at 1.30pm on Monday.
Apart from Rafizi and Darell, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah and Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah will be present.
Malaysia Chronicle
Related Story:   CORRUPTION: M'sian Foreign Minister named in MACC probe into Sabah Timber












Monday, 09 April 2012 19:40

Timber scandal: I am innocent, they are desperate - Anifah hits back at accusers

Written by  Maria Begum, Malaysia Chronicle 

Foreign Affairs Minister Anifah Aman slammed as "desperate" accusations that he was probed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and found to have corruptly received timber licenses from his elder brother Musa Aman, the Sabah chief minister.
"I don't know anything about it. Why don't you ask the person who put it on? I told you this is the first time I am hearing about it. Those concerned must be desperate to implicate me. I don't play this kind of politics and refuse to be drawn into one," Anifah, who is also the Kimanis MP, was reported to have told a news portal.
Thousands of documents, no escape
Just hours ago PKR leaders had given Prime Minister Najib Razak 7 days to suspend Anifah and Musa pending a full probe into the RM400mil timber corruption scandal.
PKR leaders had three months ago set up a Special Task Force for timber corruption led by Darell Leiking, PKR's Sabah-born deputy secretary-general.
According to Leiking, he and PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli had "thousands of documents" pertaining to the brothers involvement and they would expose the wrongdoings if Najib did not take action.
Hotter than NFC
The brothers' timber scandal would be even more "explosive" than the RM250million NFC debacle involving former Umno minister Shahrizat Jalil.

Rafizi and Leiking revealed that the MACC, after a thorough, two-year long investigation that started in 2008, had already recommended prosecution for the duo but the Attorney-General’s Chambers refused to take action, for unknown reasons.
“As such, PKR would like to give Prime Minister Najib the full opportunity to take quick action against them, seeing as the MACC has already conducted a thorough probe,” said Rafizi.
Whistle blower website Sarawak Report had also accused Anifah and a nephew, Hairul Aman, of being the beneficiaries of two major timber concessions obtained through two companies linked to them. The firms are Aktif Syabas Sdn Bhd and Para Era Sdn Bhd.
Malaysia Chronicle
Related Stories:
RM400m timber scandal hotter than NFC: PKR gives Najib 7 days to suspend Musa and Anifah

CORRUPTION: M'sian Foreign Minister named in MACC probe into Sabah Timber

TIMBER CORRUPTION: PKR to hold press conference on Anifah and Musa
















Monday, 09 April 2012 16:11

RM400m timber scandal hotter than NFC: PKR gives Najib 7 days to suspend Musa and Anifah

Written by  Melissa Lee, Malaysia Chronicle 


UPDATED PKR leaders have given embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak 7 days to take action against Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman and his brother Anifah, the federal Foreign Minister, over a RM400 mil timber scandal.
"We want Prime Minister Najib to instruct Anifah and Musa to take leave from their official duties, and hold them answerable to the allegations," PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli told a press conference at the Parliament lobby on Monday.
Brotherly help
Whistle blower website Sarawak Report had accused Anifah of "secretly" receiving timber licenses thanks to Musa's influence.
PKR had set up a Special Task Force to look into timber corruption three months ago and their efforts have borne fruit. They plan to make public further details should Najib refuse to act.
Already, the PKR led by Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her husband Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim have created jitters in the BN, particularly Umno with a recent barrage of expose's involving abuse of power and corruption at the National Feedlot Centre run by the family of former minister Shahrizat Jalil.
According to Rafizi, the Sabah timber graft scandal would be even more "explosive" than the RM250mil NFC corruption debacle - a crisis Najib can ill afford as he is expected to call for snap general elections within the next few months.
Thousands of documents
PKR deputy secretary-general Darell Leiking, also at the press conference, confirmed that the PKR Special Task Force now had in possession of “thousands of pages” of documents, including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s own investigation papers into the scandal, which was exposed by Sarawak Report last week.
Rafizi and Leiking revealed that the MACC, after a thorough, two-year long investigation that started in 2008, had already recommended prosecution for the duo but the Attorney-General’s Chambers refused to take action, for unknown reasons.
“As such, PKR would like to give Prime Minister Najib the full opportunity to take quick action against them, seeing as the MACC has already conducted a thorough probe,” said Rafizi.
He also called on Najib to suspend the A-G, Gani Patail, as he has been linked once too often to corruption scandals involving the top BN leaders. "A tribunal should be formed to hear his cases,” said Rafizi.
Also present were PKR vice president Nurul Izzah and Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah.
Malaysia Chronicle
Related Stories:
TIMBER CORRUPTION: PKR to hold press conference on Anifah and Musa
CORRUPTION: M'sian Foreign Minister named in MACC probe into Sabah Timber
Timber scandal: I am innocent, they are desperate - Anifah points finger back at accusers












UPDATED @ 08:42:55 PM 09-04-2012
April 09, 2012

Rafizi gave the government a week to act on the MACC’s investigation papers on the matter. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — PKR today threatened to reveal another potentially explosive scandal if Putrajaya refuses to take quick action in a RM400 million timber graft scandal, said to involve top state and federal officials. PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli issued a one-week deadline to the Najib administration to accede to his party’s demands and haul up those responsible or face another series of exposés like the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) scandal.
Rafizi warned, however, that the Sabah timber graft scandal would likely be even more damaging than the NFC controversy for Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Barisan Nasional (BN), which will face the public soon in an upcoming general election.
Rafizi and PKR deputy secretary-general Darell Leiking told a press conference in Parliament today that they are in possession of “thousands of pages” of documents, including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigation papers into the scandal, which was exposed by Sarawak Report (SR) last Thursday.
“From the evidence accumulated, there has been serious wrongdoings committed by these individuals.
“We will release this information soon,” Leiking said.
He is currently leading a special investigation team formed by PKR to obtain further information on the scandal.
According to the whistleblower site SR, a senior local politician is allegedly the secret beneficiary of multimillion ringgit worth of timber concessions in Sabah, through his familial ties with a top ranking member of the state administration.
The website's article can be obtained here: www.sarawakreport.org/2012/04/malaysian-foreign-minister-named-in-macc-investigation-into-sabah-timber-corruption-national-expose/
Rafizi and Leiking revealed that the MACC, after a thorough, two-year long investigation that started in 2008, had already recommended prosecution for the duo but the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) had allegedly refused to take action, for unknown reasons.
“The investigation in this case led us all over, to Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia, where properties have also been purchased for those individuals implicated.
“Even the MACC wanted to charge them but they somehow stopped,” Leiking said.
Rafizi also revealed a letter penned to the AGC by the lawyer of an individual who had been questioned during MACC's investigation on January 15 last year, relating his client's willingness to be a witness in the case if the politicians were prosecuted in court.
But, said Rafizi, the AGC had subsequently communicated its rejection of the offer on February 9.
“As such, PKR would like to give Prime Minister Najib the full opportunity to take quick action against them, seeing as the MACC has already conducted a thorough probe,” said Rafizi.
“We are working closely with the SR on this.”
He recommended that both Sabah leaders be asked to answer to the allegations against them and to take temporary leave from their duties.
Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail should also be suspended immediately as he has been repeatedly linked to many other scandals, said Rafizi.
“A tribunal should be formed to hear his cases,” he said.
Rafizi also suggested that an independent Federal Court judge be appointed to examine the MACC’s investigation papers and be given the power to recommend charges.













Aman-gate: ‘Charge in court, or we bring to public court’

Teoh El Sen | April 9, 2012
PKR wants Foreign Minister Anifah Aman and his brother Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman to resign pending investigation into their alleged involvement in a scandal.
KUALA LUMPUR: PKR today demanded that both Foreign Minister Anifah Aman and his brother Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman take leave from their respective posts pending further action on their alleged involvement in a tens of millions of ringgit worth of secret timber concessions and money laundering.
Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail should also be suspended from his duties for his reluctance to bring charges against the two despite a two-year-old Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation which had recommended prosecution.
“We are giving Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and the government the opportunity, one week to be exact, to respond to this. Bring these people to court or we will bring this issue to the public courts, like how we did to the National Feedlot Corporation [NFC] scandal. In fact, this is bigger than NFC,” PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli said at the Parliament lobby.
PKR deputy secretary-general Darell Leiking, who was with Rafizi, is also leading a special task force formed specifically to obtain information into this emerging scandal and he has since interviewed many witnesses.
“We can reveal documents to the media involving thousands of pages, including bank slips that show the various transfer of monies.”
“We are confident that the evidence that we have in our hands implicate the three public figures… this evidence will be revealed in stages until all those involved have been brought to book,” Leiking said.
Several days ago, leaked Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) documents revealed that Gani had allegedly shelved files on the investigation and refused to prosecute Anifah or Musa over allegations that the Sabah chief minister had corruptly issued timber licences to his brother worth tens of millions of ringgit.
Investigations were prompted after Musa’s “agent” Michael Chia was arrested in Hong Kong in 2008 and MACC investigations later unearthed details of the secret timber concessions within the family and Gani’s close ties to the Aman family.
Insufficient evidence
MACC investigations into the Chia case led to the revelations of tens of millions of ringgit worth of timber concessions which Musa had awarded his brother Anifah and nephew Hairul from the time he assumed power in 2003.
Gani himself is from Lahad Datu, one of many entry points for illegal immigrants in Sabah. Gani’s wife is connected to Musa’s close associate, Johan Abdul Samad who is also the deputy director of
Yayasan Sabah. Anifah’s wife is Samad’s sister. Musa himself is chairman of Yayasan Sabah, which holds monopoly over Sabah’s forest.
Chia was detained by the Hong Kong authorities at the Hong Kong International Airport for alleged money trafficking. He was caught trying to smuggle out of Hong Kong some S$16 million (RM40 million).
Apparently when he was caught, Chia told the Hong Kong authorities that the money was for Musa.
Revealing the depth of the “secret” deals, online news portal, Sarawak Report, posted that Gani had refused to allow charges to be brought against Musa and Najib was “scandalously turning a blind eye to the affair”.
“Gani had forced the MACC to shelve its entire investigation in Sabah,which was one of the largest and most extensive ever undertaken by that body and involved sums amounting to billions of ringgit, siphoned out of the state by corruption at the highest level.”
Last week, MACC deputy commissioner (operations) Mohd Shukri Abdull had complained that the Attorney-General’s Chambers had refused to bring many “valid cases” the commission had investigated to court due to “insufficient evidence”.
Also read:
‘Mafia’ trio Gani, Musa, Anifah cornered MACC files














Tuesday, 10 April 2012 20:09

Sabah’s Smoking Gun: Musa Aman’s sons accessed dirty money

Written by  Sarawak Report 


Documents leaked from a Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) enquiry have provided devastating evidence of the Sabah Chief Minister, Musa Aman’s, personal involvement in a massive timber kickback scandal, which insiders say has been subject to a high level political cover-up.
Aman has always denied that he was linked to allegations surrounding the Sabah timber trader Michael Chia, who was arrested in Hong Kong and charged with money laundering, as he attempted to smuggle SG$16million in bank notes back to Malaysia in 2008.
However, Sarawak Report has now obtained access to secret documents from the investigations by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and Malaysia’s MACC, which directly implicate the Chief Minister.
These include copies of bank statements, which record payments to Musa Aman’s own sons from suspect accounts linked to Chia’s business activities.
Chia was Musa Aman’s ‘adopted son’
Close relationship - Musa Aman (left) and his right hand man Michael Chia
Michael Chia, who referred to himself as Aman’s adopted son, played the role as facilitator for kickbacks to the Chief Minister, according to trade insiders.
They say that soon after Aman took office, Chia started approaching key timber industry players to make plain that major concessions would be available – but only if kickbacks were paid, through him as the connector to Musa Aman.
“Tampokong was instructed to follow Chia’s instructions”, say sources. Meaning that Yayasan Sabah’s Forest Manager, Mohd Daud Tampokong, had been instructed by the Chairman of the Board Trustees, Musa Aman, to do Chia’s bidding when it came to authorising logging licences.
Yayasan Sabah controls around a million hectares of remaining forest land, which it is suppose to protect and manage on behalf of the state and its people.  Unwisely, the country’s top politician is also the head of Yayasan’s Board of Trustees, giving the Chief Minister unlimited personal control over the country’s major natural resource.
Such a lack of check and balances is a recipe for corruption and our evidence shows that Aman took spectacular advantage.
Smoking gun bank accounts
Dandy - Chia loved the fast life. According to one friend "he would spend $2k on his underwear"!
At the time of his arrest in Hong Kong, clutching the bundle of Singapore bank notes worth SG$10,000 each, Chia was suspected of smuggling dirty money, with the intention of bringing it back to Sabah to finance election bribery by BN.
The money and related bank accounts were frozen in Hong Kong by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) for the maximum period of 3 years, while investigators sought to get vital cooperation from Malaysia’s Attorney General, Abdul Gani Patail, in order to be able to get the evidence they needed from the Malay authorities.
Simultaneously the MACC began their own investigation, seizing 9 lorry loads of material and documents from the premises of Michael Chia and his timber business associates, including timber magnates Andrew Lim and Admond Looh.
The investigators discovered that Chia had been running a number of related bank accounts through HSBC, Singapore and the Swiss Bank UBS, based in Hong Kong. We have copies of statements from these bank accounts showing that the sons of Musa Aman were taking money out of one of them on a regular basis, based on a standing instruction.
This account was set up as an Australian Dollar account in Singapore, apparently because the boys were then studying in Perth, Australia.  Money was also removed from the account by Imbarine Bujang, who was the man delegated by Musa Aman to take care of the boys’ needs while away at University in Perth.
How can Musa deny his link to Chia's activities when his own sons were taking money out of accounts that were being managed by Chia and his associates?
Mohammed Hayssam Musa and Hazem Mubarak Musa are both offspring of the Chief Minister.  Sarawak Report has numerous copies of statements from this bank account, showing that their expenses were being regularly paid from it during 2006 and 2007.
A payment was also made to the Australian property company, Riverstar Investment Pty Ltd, to cover the rental costs of the boys’ apartment in Perth.
Payment for the rental for Musa's sons in Australia also came out of the same account controlled by Chia
Statements in our possession from connected USD$ accounts with the same UBS Hong Kong bank (managed through the Singapore branch) show how money was transferred to cover the payments. Our evidence is that the money flowing into these accounts was directly linked to the granting of major timber licences by Yayasan Sabah.
Chia himself paid directly to Musa’s boys
Any attempt by the Chief Minister to distance himself and his family from the evidence that he has been receiving money through Michael Chia is made even less convincing by the fact that other bank statements, made available to the MACC enquiry, show that Chia himself had been covering these regular payments to the boys in the period before setting up the UBS account in 2006.
These payments were made through his personal HSBC account!
Money for the boys was going through Michael Chia's own bank account in 2005 - Why?
SG 85,000 payment to Mohammed Tampokong!
The leaked documents in our possession also show that Yayasan Sabah’s Forest Manager, Mohd Daud Tampokong (instructed to cooperate with Chia) also received an enormous payment from another related account run by Chia and his associates, this time from a company based in the British Virgin Islands, Zenique Investments Ltd.
We question on what grounds the salaried civil servant in charge of managing Sabah’s timber concessions could legitimately accept a SD85,000 payments from an offshore British Virgin Island account?
Explanation needed? Why did Sabah's Forest Manager receive a SG85,000 payment from a BVI account in November 2006?
This evidence strongly corroborates allegations that Michael Chia was receiving kickbacks from timber companies receiving concessions from Yayasan Sabah, which had been authorised by Mohd Daud Tampokong, and that Chia was then forwarding money from his web of bank accounts to Musa and to the Forest Manager.
Musa Aman has till now distanced himself from this kickback investigation, in which case he needs to come up with convincing explanations about these payments.
Cover up
Protecting his powerful family and political allies? Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail
So far, the Chief Minister has been protected from prosecution, according to our sources, by the deliberate obstruction of the official investigation by Malaysia’s top law enforcement authority, the Attorney General.
Abdul Gani Patail is a fellow Sabahan and has close family connections with the Aman family and he has blocked the pressing of all charges.
We have learnt that the Hong Kong Anti-Corruption Commission investigators initially approached the Malaysian authorities in 2008 with a request for assistance in pursuing their enquiries after Michael Chia’s arrest.
However, the Attorney General refused to sign the necessary mutual legal assistance documents to enable inter-country cooperation on the case. We understand that Gani even went to Hong Kong seeking to negotiate with his opposite number there to close the case.
After 3 years the Hong Kong authorities were forced by statutory limitations to unfreeze the Chia accounts and shelve the investigation owing to Malaysia’s refusal to cooperate.  The millions of dollars in these accounts were released towards the end of last year and it is believed a great deal of the money will be channelled into Sabah, in order to attempt to buy votes for UMNO/BN in the coming federal election.
MACC investigation was also blocked by Gani
A parallel MACC investigation, which unearthed huge amounts of information about Sabah timber kickbacks, has also been blocked.
The Malaysian investigators, who are understood to have been extremely thorough, took evidence from numerous business associates of Chia and timber traders, who admitted to paying kickbacks.  The MACC is believed to have recommended that no less than 40 charges be brought against Sabah’s Chief Minister and yet once again the Attorney General has refused to recommend a prosecution of the case.
“The report with all the evidence is still sitting on his desk”, one source has told us.
This situation supports the clear frustration expressed publicly just last week by the MACC Deputy Commissioner, Mohd Shukri Abdull, who admitted that the Attorney-General has refused to bring many “valid cases”, claiming lack of evidence.
Sarawak Report has now received much of that evidence and over the coming days we will be sharing it with the public and inviting people to make their own judgement on the case which Malaysia’s Attorney General is refusing to bring to court.

Sarawak Report

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE















Malaysia minister's husband charged with corruption







April 13, 2012

Mohamad Salleh was previously charged with CBT and violations of the Companies Act in relation to alleged abuses of a federal loan to his firm. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp) executive chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail won back his passport today and will be allowed to travel abroad despite being charged with criminal breach of trust (CBT) over the controversial national cattle-farming scandal. Sessions Court judge Justice SM Komathy Suppiah ruled to allow Mohamad Salleh’s application to regain his impounded passport so that he may travel to perform his Islamic pilgrimage and carry out business trips abroad.
She ordered the passport to be returned to the court on or before May 16, The Star Online reported.
Mohamad Salleh filed the application to regain his passport on April 10 to enable his travel plans this month and next.
According to The Star, the 64-year-old is due to fly to Mecca for his umrah from April 28 to May 5. He is also schedule to visit Kazakhtan between May 5 and 11, before heading to London from May 11 to 15 to visit his daughter Wan Izzana Fatimah Zabeda, who is studying at the Imperial College Business School.
He was accompanied in court today by his wife, former Women, Family and Community Development minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, and other family members.
Mohamad Salleh, who is also the director of Meatworks (S) Pte Ltd, had also applied to travel to Singapore between April 23 and 26 to manage the operations of his restaurant business there, based on his affidavit.
The court document also stated that he was planning to expand his business by setting up a farm and an abattoir on a 50,000-hectare parcel of land in partnership with Smart Agro Karkara Ltd in Kazakhtan, a venture he had planned before the court case began.
Last March 12, Mohamad Salleh was charged with CBT as well two counts under the Companies Act in the scandal that has opened Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to damaging attacks ahead of elections expected soon.
The 64-year-old was charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code relating to CBT for misappropriating RM9,758,140 from NFCorp’s funds to purchase two condominium units at the One Menerung complex in Bangsar for the National Meat and Livestock Corporation (NMLC) on December 1 and December 4, 2009.
Mohamad Salleh was also charged under the same section for transferring RM40 million of NFCorp’s funds to the NMLC between May 6 and November 16, 2009.
He was further charged in both cases for using the said funds without any approval from company’s annual general meeting, which is an offence under Section 132 of the Companies Act 1965.
If found guilty, he faces between two and 20 years’ imprisonment, whipping, and a fine for the offences under the Penal Code.
Mohamad Salleh also faces a five-year jail term or RM30,000 fine for the charges proffered under the Companies Act.
The court set May 28 as the next mention date for his case.















Malaysia minister's husband charged with corruption

 

 

 

 

 

 











Bersih: ‘Security risk’ for ballot boxes if early vote count disallowed 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 












Musa’s HK cash set to flood Sabah

Pushparani Thilaganathan | April 10, 2012
Are the latest revelations by the MACC against Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman aimed at propping up Umno vice-president Shafie Apdal?
KUALA LUMPUR: It will be raining money in Sabah in the next general election and this time it will cover more that just tin sheets, roofings, “instant” jetties, beers and and “RM500 ang pows”. Both Chief Minister Musa Aman and national Umno vice-president Shafie Apdal have opened their personal war chests.
Both are Umno members with significant clout in Sabah. While battling for a Barisan Nasional “win” in the next general election, they will also be fighting for their own personal political survival.
It’s an open secret that Sabah Umno is deeply divided between followers of Musa and Shafie.
While Musa sees himself as a “true-to-bone” Sabahan “wanting” a stop to the legalisation of illegals and further influx, Shafie however has allegedly sold his soul to the opulent-living federal Umno leadership and its pledge to seat him as Sabah’s next chief minister.
For Shafie, this is a battle which he must win to prove to his Kuala Lumpur masters that he is indeed the Borneo “prince” of Umno politics.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s not-so-subtle endorsement of Shafie as the next chief minister of Sabah will seal for good Umno’s intentions in Sabah and to some extent its strength in the peninsula.
Under Shafie, Sabah may well leave its doors “permanently” open to more Muslims from neighbouring Philippines and Indonesia as was seen in recent reports of thousands of illegals being given MyKads in Shafie’s Semporna constituency.
In fact, during a trip to Lahad Datu (hometown of Attorney-General Gani Patail) last year, a source told FMT that a commonly asked question when meeting an “arriving” illegal is “are you Muslim?”.
“If he speaks English, they don’t get a letter because it means they are educated and Christians,” said the source.
Najib, Shafie and Musa
That Najib defers to Shafie’s “advice” was stark in the RCI issue.
Following reports that the federal cabinet had approved the setting up of a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into the millions of immigrants legalised via a dubious project IC scheme in the 1990s, Sabahans had feverishly awaited Najib’s announcement during his visit to Sipitang last month.
But it never happened.
What is known is that Umno warlords from the east coast, where Shafie wields immense influence, had met with Najib secretly the night before the press conference and told him that the legalised illegals were “BN’s fixed deposit and had voted for the party in many elections”.
The day after the “secret” meeting Najib left leaders of the Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties red-faced and embarrassed when he cancelled the press conference and returned to KL.
Among those left standing was Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is PBS president. PBS is Musa’s primary link to the KadazanDusun Murut communities (KDM) at large.
Najib’s about-turn surprisingly riled Musa, who has since thrown his support behind the need for an RCI.
Over the years, Musa has been known to have privately raged over federal Umno’s interference over state issues but the situation has somewhat worsened post-2008.
Umno and its BN partners in the peninsula suffered humiliating defeats in the 2008 general election. Since then the coalition has had to content with the fact that it lost its glint and five states (Perak was wrested back by BN in reverse takeover in 2009).
Unable to bear the drubbing in the peninsula since then and desperately wanting to retain its two-thirds hold in the 13th general election, Umno is pressing down on Sabah and Musa.
And the press-down was and is multi-faceted aimed at discrediting Musa. In each instance, Shafie’s visible and invisible hand was evident.
Last year a new NGO was born calling itself KDM Malaysia. This group is believed to be closely linked to Shafie and the primary mission is to push the Shafie-agenda among the younger Muslim KDMs.
Shafie’s hand
Then came the ruckus calling for Kimanis MP Anifah Aman’s withdrawal from contesting in the Kimanis constituency. Anifah is Musa’s brother and the protest came as a surprise to him. The argument from the protesters was that Anifah was not from Kimanis. The protesters were rumoured to be linked to Shafie.
The drama with Lajim Ukin, Umno’s east coast warlord, was also apparently engineered. Lajim had threatened to defect taking with him “more” Umno leaders. But that matter was quickly settled when Lajim was rumoured to have received a RM150 million road contract.
Then came the RCI drama and revelations that the Home Ministry and National Registration Department (NRD) were issuing MyKads for “free” to stateless children and allegedly others as well.
The location of the distribution was incidentally also in the Semporna parliamentary constituency which Shafie lords over.
Anifah came out slamming the move after a local Bajau native association expressed concerns that its own Sabah-born people were still without identification papers and feared that “new” legalised illegals would take away their “rights” which they are currently enjoying.
And now the latest disclosure by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) that its investigation into alleged Musa’s abuse of power over timber concessions was blocked by family friend Gani has further sealed the views that Najib has cornered Musa.
According to reports, Gani had apparently refused to push the pen on MACC’s investigations into Musa business dealings.
MACC began investigating Musa after an alleged nominee Michael Chia was detained by the Hong Kong authorities at the Hong Kong International Airport in 2008 for attempting to smuggle S$16 million (RM40 million) out of the island. Chia had allegedly told the Hong Kong authorities that the money belonged to Musa.
‘Money coming back’
Later in 2009, PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar in his statement lodged with Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) stated that Musa had “accounts in Hong Kong at UBS AG, Bank of East Asia Ltd, HSBC, Credit Suisse and Citibank”.
He has also revealed that four Musa nominees had been linked to “corrupt and shady practices” involving funds belonging to the Sabah state government and several government-linked companies including Innoprise Corporation Sdn Bhd, Rakyat Berjaya Sdn Bhd and the Yayasan Sabah group.
The ICAC then froze the accounts pending the completion of its investigation.
The investigations were never completed because Gani refused to sign the necessary documents allowing for an inter-country cooperation to solve the case.
Following the statutory three-year limitation, ICAC unfroze the accounts late last year and the money is all coming back in batches to Sabah in time to buy votes in the “mother of all polls”.















Cleaning up money politics in Malaysia

 


In a memorandum on reform of political financing last year, TI-M said: "Money can disrupt the democratic principle of fair competition in elections and undermine proper political representation. Problems arise when organisations with private agendas provide large secret funds to political parties/candidates and expect something in return, compromising the quality of government." 
Salim Othman, Singapore Straits Times 
UMNO veteran and former minister Abdul Kadir Fadzir resigned from the party last month after 56 years. His reason: He could no longer tolerate the practice of vote buying by Umno during elections.
His allegation was met by a swift denial from Umno. Cynics, however, accused the veteran politician of being guilty of the same crime - for allegedly using money to retain his position as head of an Umno division for three decades.
Despite drawing flak, Abdul Kadir has raised an issue that is rife in Umno and that threatens the effective functioning of democracy in Malaysia.
The issue has assumed greater importance as Malaysia gears up for a general election due by April next year.
Vote buying is part of a whole chain of money politics that thrives because politicians in power have easy access to funds which they can use to bribe voters at the polls.
The politicians themselves are bribed by the sponsors who funded their electoral campaigns, in return for favours once they are elected.
This issue of political funding is now the target of Prime Minister Najib Razak's reform initiatives, which he vowed to initiate when he took over power in 2009. This was of course long before the former Umno veteran spoke about the evils of money politics last month.
Najib has said that he would introduce new regulations governing political finance as part of his reforms to transform Malaysia.
Under the Government Transformation Plan, new laws would be introduced to regulate political financing to restrain politicians from illegally using their party's name to solicit funds. All funding should be channelled to an official party account.
Although Najib has not set a deadline for the regulations, the move should be applauded as this is the first of many steps towards curbing money politics, known to be rampant not only in Malaysia, but also in many other countries.
There are good reasons why regulation on political financing should be supported by all parties.
First, is the need to improve transparency in political financing to fulfil the principles of transparency, accountability and integrity that are in the Najib government's transformation programme.
At the moment, there are no limits to the amount of donations to political parties and candidates. There is also no requirement for public disclosure of such contributions. Some of the donations are channelled directly to individual politicians instead of to their party.
Last December, a blogger had accused Deputy Finance Minister Awang Adek Husin of receiving cash contributions worth 100,000 ringgit (US$33,000) from a businessman, claiming that it was a bribe for a project.
The politician dismissed the allegation, saying that the funds were used for social development projects in his constituency although the money was wired to his personal account.
The case highlighted the lack of transparency in political contributions received by government politicians.
Second, political corruption, often described as the 'mother of all corruption', and money politics are detrimental to society and undermine the democratic process.
A study by Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M), an anti-corruption watchdog, found that money politics could pose serious corruption risks to the quality of government and democracy.
In a memorandum on reform of political financing last year, TI-M said: "Money can disrupt the democratic principle of fair competition in elections and undermine proper political representation. Problems arise when organisations with private agendas provide large secret funds to political parties/candidates and expect something in return, compromising the quality of government."
It recommended several measures to reform political financing.
First, the Election Offences Act 1954 should be amended to require party election expenses to be independently audited by certified auditors before submission to the Election Commission. The Elections Act 1958 should also be amended to empower the Election Commission to investigate and verify financial reports submitted by political parties and candidates.
Second, political parties should be required by law to make full public disclosure of the amounts and sources of their financing and expenditure.
Third, there must be limits on contributions by Malaysian individuals and organisations or companies to political parties. Ideally, companies should be banned from making political donations. This is to stop those with a private agenda from influencing election outcomes.
Fourth, TI-M and other analysts suggest that the state should finance political parties and candidates to ensure that they have sufficient resources to run campaigns. This is also to ensure a level playing field at the polls.
Reforming political financing is an issue that should be treated with greater urgency as it is instrumental in the bid to curb political corruption.
The reforms are being initiated by PM Najib's government certainly not in response to criticisms from Abdul Kadir but because of the conviction that political corruption has to be checked or it will metastasize into a terrible cancer pervading all levels of Malaysian society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 12, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman today denied corruption allegations linking him to an RM400-million timber graft scandal as exposed recently by whistleblower site Sarawak Report.
In a short statement here, the Umno leader also denied any link with Sabah timber trader Michael Chia, who was arrested and charged with money laundering after attempting to smuggle SGD16 million (RM40 million) back to Malaysia in 2008. According to media reports, Chia had allegedly told the Hong Kong authorities that the money belonged to Musa.
"I deny all these allegations. I wish to put it on record once again that I have no business association whatsoever with an individual named Michael Chia," the usually media-shy Musa (picture) said in a statement today.
Musa instead accused Sarawak Report of defaming him, claiming the graft allegations were likely part of a conspiracy by his detractors who wanted to topple Barisan Nasional (BN) in the east Malaysian state.
"If is unfortunate that there are people out there who will keep using recycled allegations to get to the top when election is near.
"The people of Sabah can decide for themselves based on my track record. Not faceless and nameless people who use blogs to serve their political interest," he said.
But Musa added that he would offer full cooperation to the authorities if he was required to but stressed that in the meantime, his focus was on serving the state instead of "entertaining these frivolous allegations".
Sarawak Report had claimed last week to be in possession of documents showing Musa's and his brother's, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, link to a multimillion-ringgit timber graft scandal.
Earlier this week, PKR leaders moved to claim the same, saying that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had already recommended a court case against the duo but this was allegedly blocked by the Attorney-General's Chambers.
PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli and deputy secretary-general Darell Leiking also issued a one-week deadline on the BN government to order both Musa and Anifah to take temporary leave from their duties and a suspension on A-G Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, who has also been linked to numerous other scandals.














Anwar-Shafie ‘tie-up’ against Amans?

Selvaraja Somiah | April 12, 2012
Recycling the Michael Chia story is a strategy to kill off Musa Aman and Anifah Aman who are supporting calls for the RCI on legalised illegal immigrants in Sabah.
COMMENT
The strategy that the political enemies of the Aman brothers have decided on takes a leaf from the recent woes of Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil who was forced to step down as Women, Family and Community Development Minister over allegations that her family scammed the public treasury of some RM250 million.
PKR, which followed up the Auditor-General’s Report last year on the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) project run by Shahrizat’s family, has now eagerly accepted an invitation from the godfather of the Suluk Filipinos (Shafie Apdal) to make a common cause in Sabah against the Aman brothers.
It’s not surprising that PKR has no qualms about walking on the wild side of politics in Sabah.
It is an open secret in the state that Opposition Leader and de facto PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim was among the chief architects responsible for placing illegal immigrants, mainly drawn from Suluk Filipinos, on the electoral rolls.
He was then in the Barisan Nasional government as deputy prime minister and finance minister.
Anwar’s shady past in Sabah has caught up with him in the present to haunt his future.
Most of the Sabah PKR members have fled en masse to the State Reform Party (STAR) led by Jeffrey Kitingan who was PKR vice-president until January last year.
PKR has since pledged, in an act of political suicide, that illegal immigrants in Sabah would all be given permanent residency (PR) status should the opposition alliance seize the reins of power in the state.
Between the Suluk Filipinos and Anwar/PKR, they are not too happy that Chief Minister Musa Aman has since pledged support for the proposed Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants in Sabah.
Alarm bells rang further when Musa’s brother Anifah, who is foreign minister, lashed out publicly against attempts by the a special unit in the National Registration Department (NRD) in Putrajaya to issue birth certificates and MyKads to 40,000 people in Semporna alone without going through the local mobile court system.
Anifah doubted that there could be that many people in one district alone without personal Malaysian documents.
Anwar’s hand
Semporna is infested with illegal immigrants, mostly Suluk from the nearby Sulu archipelago in the Philippines.
Anifah’s outburst on Semporna, coming on top of his brother’s public support for the RCI, was the last straw for the Suluk Filipinos.
They, led by their ‘godfather’, decided that the Aman brothers would have to go sooner rather than later.
Their “secret weapon” was to recycle an old story on a timberman, one Michael Chia Thien Foh, who is allegedly close to Musa, being nabbed with some RM16 million on him at Hong Kong Airport. Some media reported RM17 million.
The story, as it now transpires, is that Chia was not carrying any substantial amounts of Malaysian or foreign currency on him at that time apart from his credit cards and some petty cash in his wallet.
The Hong Kong authorities had apparently jumped the gun, acting on a public tip-off that was later traced to a telephone call which came from a public telephone booth in Semporna, and was left red-faced in the process.
So, this whole story about Micheal Chia getting caught with bag load of foreign currency in Hong Kong Airport is a whole lot of rubbish. It never happened.
The Hong Kong case, if any, has been closed but PKR and Musa’s Suluk Filipino political enemies do not want to cease and desist.
They are doggedly flogging the Hong Kong incident in various recycled versions and liberally dishing them around among the alternative media.
The fact of the matter is that it’s not the Attorney-General who immediately decides on the prosecution of Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders suspected of being involved in corruption.
Najib is not foolish
The MACC files on such leaders have to be sent to the Prime Minister who in turn will have to return them to the commission before they are sent to the AG for further action, if any.
In Musa and Anifah’s case, even if there’s an MACC file on both of them, it’s unlikely that it has been sent to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
Indeed, even if such a file exists and it has been sent to the Prime Minister, it’s highly unlikely that he would be so foolish as to send it back to the MACC for onward transmission to the AG.
This is the system first initiated by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The MACC files on Eric Chia of Perwaja Steel and Kasitah Gaddam were under lock and key in Mahathir’s office for years. It was his successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who sent these files back to MACC.
The rest is history.
This is an excerpt from the author’s blog selvarajasomiah.wordpress.com.
Also read:
Musa denies business links with Michael Chia
















Musa denies business links with Michael Chia

April 12, 2012
The Sabah CM says corruption allegations against him were made by desperate individuals wanting to topple the BN.
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman today said corruption allegations made against him by whistleblower website Sarawak Report was an act of defamation and conspiracy by certain quarters with the agenda to topple the Barisan Nasional government.
“I deny all these allegations. I wish to put it on record once again that I have no business association whatsoever with an individual named Michael Chia,” he said today.
Musa said these allegations were trumped up by his political opponents dan desperate individuals who would resort to anything to gain political mileage.
“It is unfortunate that there are people out there who will keep using recycled allegations to get to the top when election is near.
“The people of Sabah can decide for themselves based on my track record. Not faceless and nameless people who use blogs to serve their political interest,” he added.
Musa said he would give full cooperation to the authorities if needed but in the meantime his responsibility was to ensure the wellbeing and development of Sabah.
He said he did not wish to waste his time entertaining these frivolous allegations, adding that his main priority was to serve the people of Sabah and to administer the state.
Caught with money
Last week Sarawak Report published leaked Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) documents that revealed Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail allegedly shelving files and refusing to prosecute Musa and his brother Anifah over allegations that the Sabah chief minister had corruptly issued timber licences to his brother worth tens of millions of ringgit.
Investigations were prompted after Musa’s “agent” Michael Chia was arrested in Hong Kong in 2008 and MACC investigations later unearthed details of the secret timber concessions within the family and Gani’s close ties to the Aman family.
Chia was detained by the Hong Kong authorities at the Hong Kong International Airport for alleged money trafficking. He was caught trying to smuggle out of Hong Kong some S$16 million (RM40 million).
Apparently when he was caught, Chia told the Hong Kong authorities that the money was for Musa.

Also read:


Aman-gate: ‘Charge in court, or we bring to public court’













 Friday, 13 April 2012 11:08

Musa Aman squirms: Whistleblower exposes more corruption documents

Written by  Sarawak Report 



Musa Aman, Sabah’s Chief Minister, has come out to publicly deny that he had any business relationship with the timber trade ‘fixer’ Michael Chia, thereby implying that the hundreds of documents that have been released into our possession, along with the testimony of industry insiders, are false.
“ I wish to put it on record once again that I have no business association whatsoever with an individual named Michael Chia”[Musa Aman statement 12/11/12]
However, numerous bank statements in our possession (see example right) show the exact opposite.  They indicate that Michael Chia (Chia Tien Foh) was at the centre of a web of transactions linking Sabah timber concessions to payments made to family members and key associates of Musa Aman.
One of these associates, the Sabah solicitor Richard Christopher Barnes, was arrested and held in custody, along with Michael Chia, at the time of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigation into Sabah timber corruption back in 2010.  Huge volumes of documents were confiscated from Barnes’ offices by investigators, who prepared a major prosecution case.
'Nothing to do with me' - Musa's lawyer, Richard Christopher Barnes and Michael Chia together a a party attended by Musa Aman
Barnes and Chia are understood to have given full statements, admitting their involvement in kickbacks for concessions in the state and the MACC have told sources they drew up a dossier containing 40 charges against Musa, which was then blocked by his relative and close ally the Attorney General, Abdul Gani Patail.
Because of this failure to prosecute and the suppression of this evidence, we are continuing to review and release the documents now in our possession.
These documents strongly corroborate the allegations under investigation, that Michael Chia was acting as a collecting agent for timber kickbacks to the Chief Minister.
Michael Chia was in the timber business and regarded as the ‘collecting agent’ for Musa
Far from being forged, our documentation is extensive and wide-ranging and it is backed up by testimony received from Sabah timber industry insiders. The evidence also corroborates publicly known facts published in court cases involving Michael Chia, who was arrested in Hong Kong in 2008, while attempting to smuggle SG16million back to Malaysia.
One case in the Sabah High Court has already clearly demonstrated that Chia was acting as a “middle-man” between Yayasan Sabah and timber tycoons seeking concessions.  Documents produced in evidence during Chia’s prosecution for allegedly cheating a timber concession holder, Agus Hassan, include a letter by Hassan explaining he had been told to pay a kickback to UMNO Sabah via Chia.
The letter says that Yayasan representative Mohd Tampokong was refusing to issue permission for the logging to begin until Chia was satisfied.  Agus Hassan was later angered to discover that Chia took at least some of the profit himself.
Evidence in court - a letter from timber concession holder Agus Hassan to Yayasan Sabah complaining that Chia, acting in a "middle-man' role, was holding up the commencement of logging until kickbacks were paid through him. Why was Yayasan's Mohd Daud Tampokong allowing Chia to act as a "middle-man" between Yayasan officials and timber merchants? As, Chairman Musa Aman should explain.
But, why would Hassan, a man granted a concession by Musa Aman, think there was a kickback involved in gaining the concession and that Chia was the agent for Musa/Sabah UMNO?  Why was Yayasan’s Mohd Tampkong following Chia’s instructio?  And why did Hassan not just report the extortion to the Head of the Board of Yayasan Trustees, Aman himself?
These are questions that Musa Aman has yet to satisfactorily answer. However, our new evidence goes a long way towards doing just that.
From the MACC's document listing Yayasan's secret timber concessions - Agus Hassan's timber concession became the subject of a criminal prosecution against Chia
  1. There is plenty of evidence to show that Michael Chia was not only a “middle-man” between Yayasan and timber concession-seekers, but also acquired numerous Yayasan timber concessions of his own.  He has publicly acknowledged it in another on-going case in the High Court of Singapore:
“I am in the business of exporting timber logs from Malaysia internationally through my group of companies, including Rimba Kita and Rasanmewa”[Chia Tien Foh, Affidavit, High Court of Singapore 19/12/2011]
The MACC has listed numerous further concessions associated with Michael Chia as a result of its investigations (below), so why has the Chief Minister denied any dealings with Chia whatsoever?  As Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Yayasan Sabah, he exerts ultimate approval over all timber licences, including those given to Chia.
Chia-related logging companies, as listed in the leaked MACC document. Sarawak Report has further details of the logging concessions handed out to these companies, which are not included in the MACC report
These timber concession could only have been authorised by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Yayasan Sabah, Musa Aman. They were awarded to a feckless young man, who had no experience in the timber trade and no family money before he set about presenting himself as the back channel to Musa Aman after 2003.
Same party, socialising with Musa - Chia became known for his extravagant life-style, exhibited by his string of expensive high-performance cars
So, far from denying that he has had no association whatsoever with Mr Chia, could Musa Aman explain in detail how and why this boy was in receipt of so many state timber concessions, granted by the Board of Yayasan Trustees of which he was the Chairman?
Chia, who was notorious for his ‘flash’ tastes, was soon exhibiting ridiculous wealth.  His string of high-performance cars included a Hummer H2, no less than three Lamborghinis, a Ferrari 430, a number of BMWs, Mercedes Benz and Toyotas.
Genuine businessmen can testify that it takes time to build such wealth from scratch. Investment and repayment of borrowed moneys have to come first.  And yet Chia enjoyed virtually instant disposable income in vast quantities almost from the moment that Musa Aman started to endow him with extensive timber concessions.
The Chief Minister has yet to explain why he chose to endow the young and inexperienced Michael Chia with these concessions.  He needs to do so, if his denials are to become convincing.
Millions In Michael Chia’s bank accounts were paid in by timber tycoons

All the evidence in fact points to one credible explanation, which was that money was pouring into Chia’s bank accounts from kickbacks.  This evidence matches the testimony of numerous sources in the Sabah timber business.
To begin with we can demonstrate from bank statements in our possession that luxury goods for Chia were being paid for out of accounts that were also receiving payments from timber tycoons.  We can also prove that these tycoons were linked to Chia’s own concessions in Sabah and to other concessions which were separately granted after 2003.
One of the accounts controlled by Chia. He closed it after his arrest in 2008 by the Hong Kong authorities - the US$220k was spent on a Lamborghini, according to sources, and US$500K was sent to Chia's BVI account with CTF International Ltd, from which he then sent payments to Musa, according to the investigators and inside sources
As we will go on to demonstrate, this very same Hong Kong UBS account controlled by Chia also received several major payments in 2006/2007 from a number of timber companies and made some interesting other out-payments.
The payers-in included the company Borion Enterprise Ltd, connected to a known Sarawak timber tycoon, and the out-payments included an enormous US$4million transfer to a ‘Richard Christopher’.
Chia can also be seen to have made a number of personal in-payments and withdrawals worth thousands of US dollars.
In-payments by Borion Enterprise and out-payments to Chia and to 'Richard Christopher'
Our sources have confirmed that Richard Christopher refers to Richard Christopher Barnes, the solicitor arrested during the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation into timber corruption in Sabah and identified as the lawyer handling financial matters for Musa Aman (see picture above with friend Chia).
Questions for Musa
So much that fails to add up after Musa Aman's denial that he has had any relations with Michal Chia
These statements represent just a fraction of the evidence we have in our possession, consisting of numerous similar transactions through Chia controlled bank accounts, involving a number of timber companies with concessions in Sabah.
The Chief Minister has yet to provide any answer to the information we published in an earlier report, which is that one of these, a closely related account Hong Kong UBS account, was making regular payments to Musa Aman’s sons in Australia.
Standing instruction to pay Musa’s son
We can now provide further documents showing yet more payments from Chia accounts to Musa’s family.
Back in 2005 an account in Chia’s own name, managed by HSBC Hong Kong, registered a regular monthly standing order payment for Musa’s son, Mohammed Hayssam Musa, who was studying in Perth.
At the same time we can see that this same account was also receiving huge payments, amounting to millions of US dollars from the company Borion Enterprise Ltd.
No business relationship? This Chia account held a standing instruction to pay Musa's own son in Australia. It was also receiving hundreds of thousand of USD from Borion Enterprise. Balance US$1.7 million !
Both the Musa boys were, as we have already shown, accessing the same account to cover their expenses during education in Australia. If this was not a business relationship then Musa Aman needs to be clear about what kind of relationship he did have with Michael Chia.
"I did not have sex with that woman" - Musa Aman's denials are starting to ring as hollow as President Clinton's!
More detail on Borion Enterprise Ltd – the Taib connection!
So what is the significance of the Hong Kong company, Borion Enterprise Ltd, which has been making such regular and enormous payments to Michael Chia?
Borion Enterprise Ltd, is part-owned by a Sarawak timber magnate Ngui Ing Chuan, a major shareholder of the Taib-linked company Ta Ann. Ngui also owns Borion Enterprise Sdn Bhd and Borion Shipping Sdn Bhd, both Malaysian companies based in Sarawak.
However, the major shareholder in the Hong Kong arm of the Borion Group is not Ngui, but another company called Silvermark Consultants Ltd.
Who owns Silvermark Consultants? Timber tycoon Ting Pek King's son Peter Ting!
In turn Silvermark Consultants Ltd is owned by the son of Sarawak’s Timber Tycoon and Taib crony, Ting Pek King!  ”Borion came into Sabah flashing big money from the start”, one source related.
Peter Ting (Ting Sie Huong) - the eldest son of Ting Pek King has been paying huge sums into Michael Chia's bank accounts. Why?
This begs the crucial question as to why the Ting Pek King family were paying large sums of money into Michael Chia’s bank accounts?  Accounts that were being simultaneously used to fund Musa Aman’s boys in Australia.
Since Aman has come out to deny any associations with Chia or indeed any allegations of graft, can he please provide the fullest of explanations for this state of affairs?
Timber concessions related to Borion
Another major Sabah player linked to Ting Pek King is his cousin and known right hand man Simon Ling.  Simon Ling has been deeply involved in Sabah timber concessions since the arrival of Musa Aman into office and he is also closely connected in business to Michael Chia.
Simon Ling (Ling Ding Dieng) - The MACC's list of his Sabah concessions. These include a controversial steep area in Kuamut Forest where maps were re-drawn by the Forest Department in 2009 to make them appear less steep, so that they could be logged. The area is currently being razed, despite strictures against clear felling.
According to insiders Ling has also taken over the running and management of many of the concessions supposedly awarded to the young and inexperienced Michael Chia.
This corroborates with official company information available for all to see.  The company Top Merchant Sdn Bhd is the company that received the concessions to log Kuamat Forest.  The main shareholder of that company is Chia’s mistress Yap Siaw Lin.  However, the Director of Top Merchant Sd Bhd is none other than Simon Ling!
Top Merchant - owned by Chia's Girlfriend, Yap Siaw Lin, but managed by Simon Ling
Insiders have confirmed that the payments from the Ting Pek King connected company Borion Enterprise Ltd into Chia’s accounts are indeed related to the timber concessions granted to Simon Ling by Yayasan Sabah and to Simon Ling’s management of Chia companies, of which he is the effective concession-holder.
Yap Siaw Lin - Chia's mistress and nominee for his company shares in Top Merchant Sdn Bhd
Chia has corroborated Borion’s involvement in his businesses by acknowledging in court that the company has exclusive rights of purchase from timber logged by Rimba Kita and Rasanmewa, companies he claims to own.
Chia has come up with his own excuses for his relationship with Borion and the payments, which he describes as a ‘Trade Advance’ by a trusted business associate.  However, such excuses do not explain the payments made to the Musa family or the millions sent on to Richard Christopher Barnes.
Insiders maintain that Chia’s web of bank accounts were merely a mechanism for processing kickbacks are further substantiated by numerous other transactions we have evidence of through the same accounts.
These involve companies linked to other timber tycoons also with concessions granted in Sabah, which we will also be revealing.
Angel Face Consultants
Meanwhile, we can now further reveal that informants have told the MACC that a BVI company Angel Face Consultants is owned by none other than Chief Minister Musa Aman and that it has received kickbacks through its Citibank Singapore account run by a close associate.
We will provide evidence that MACC and Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)  investigators took these allegations seriously as we unravel further evidence.  It raises further questions about another series of enormous out-payments from Michael Chia’s HSBC account.
Two payments of US$4.5million and US$4million to Angel Face Consultancy Ltd cleared out Chia's account in September 2005
In September 2005 the account’s hefty balance of US$8.5 million was cleared by two major withdrawals in one day in favour of Angel Face Consultancy.  That is a lot of consultation in just one day!
Denials
Musa Aman has denied any business connection with Michael Chia, even though Chia was a prolific operator on the Sabah timber scene after 2004.
If he wished the Chief Minister could take immediate action to protect himself against all such allegations of graft and kickbacks.  He could reform the system that gives him total personal and private control over the allocation of timber concessions in the State.
This is because the Sabah Chief Minister is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Yayasan Sabah, which authorises timber licences over a million hectares of state forest land. Why?
Yayasan’s negotiations are held in private and the decisions it makes are unpublished and kept confidential.  Why?
No arrangement could be better designed to allow a total abuse of power by the man, who controls both the Government and the country’s richest natural resource.  So, why doesn’t Musa Aman reform it?
- Sarawak Report














April 12, 2012
Selvaraja Somiah at selvarajasomiah.wordpress.com

The Politics in Sabah: Aman Brothers Inc and the Suluk Filipinos

by  Selvaraja Somiah.
Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman, a Pathan-Dusun, is a man hogging the headlines once again these days but for the most bizarre of all reasons. The Suluk Filipinos are after his head as they eye the Chief Minister’s post in a renewed bid. Musa, affectionately known as Moses among his fellow Dusuns, has Foreign Minister Anifah Aman along as well this time for company.
Their critics, Suluk Filipinos and the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), allege that Anifah is Musa’s “real nominee” — whatever that means – allegedly in all sorts of shady dealings involving timber and other matters purportedly engineered by his elder brother.
Those who know Anifah will swear that the Kimanis MP is one shrewd operator. He’s strictly scrupulous about the way he arranges his public and private life. Having made his money and tons of it before he went into politics, Anifah has since then stayed out of business and professional dealings which would cast aspersions on his character and his integrity in public service.
So, the critics would appear to be barking up the wrong tree on Anifah. It can be likened to a man kicking his neighbour’s dog over imagined slights by the animal’s owner.
There are those who swear that Anifah must be destroyed along with Musa to minimize any possibility that the younger brother may take up the challenge of being the Chief Minister if the opportunity presents itself. Anifah is getting closer by the day to the Chief Minister’s post by the day as he has since chalked up an enviable (?) record as Foreign Minister.
Aside from Anifah, Pairin is the only other leader who will get Musa’s support as his successor. But Pairin has been Chief Minister before, from 1985 to 1994, and is unlikely to accept his old post even if offered. Besides, Pairin is extremely pleased with Musa’s performance as Chief Minister since he took over the reins of the state government. He works quietly without getting into needless politicking, or like PKR, promising the sun, the moon and the stars in between.
The strategy that the political enemies of the Aman brothers have decided on takes a leaf from the recent woes of Wanita UMNO Chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil who was forced to step down as Women’s, Family and Community Development Minister over allegations that her family scammed the Public Treasury of some RM 250 million.
PKR, which followed up the Auditor-General’s Report last year on the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) project run by Shahrizat’s family, has now eagerly accepted an invitation from the Godfather of the Suluk Filipinos to make common cause in Sabah against the Aman Brothers.
It’s not surprising that PKR has no qualms about walking on the wild side of politics in Sabah. It’s an open secret in the state that Opposition Leader and de facto PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim was among the chief architects responsible for placing illegal immigrants, mainly drawn from Suluk Filipinos, on the electoral rolls. He was then in the Barisan Nasional Government as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister.
Anwar’s shady past in Sabah has caught up with him in the present to haunt his future. Most of the Sabah PKR members have fled en masse to the State Reform Party (Star) led by Jeffrey Kitingan who was PKR vice-president until Jan last year.
PKR has since pledged, in an act of political suicide, that illegal immigrants in Sabah would all be given permanent residency (PR) status should the opposition alliance seize the reins of power in the state.
Between the Suluk Filipinos and Anwar/PKR, they are not too happy that Musa has since pledged support for the proposed Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants in Sabah.
Alarm bells rang further when Anifah lashed out publicly not so long ago against attempts by the a special unit at the National Registration Department (NRD) in Putrajaya to issue birth certificates and MyKads to 40,000 people in Semporna alone without going through the local Mobile Court system. Anifah doubted that there could be that many people in one district alone without personal Malaysian documents.
Semporna is infested with illegal immigrants, mostly Suluk from the nearby Sulu Archipelago in the Philippines.
Anifah’s outburst on Semporna, coming on top of his brother’s public support for the RCI, was the last straw for the Suluk Filipinos. They, led by the Godfather, decided that the Aman brothers would have to go sooner rather than later.
Their “secret weapon” was to recycle an old story on a timberman, one Michael Chia Thien Foh (left), and allegedly close to Musa, being nabbed with some RM 16 million at one time at Hong Kong Airport. Some media reported RM 17 million.
The story, as it now transpires, is that Chia was not carrying Malaysian or foreign currency on him, albeit in substantial amounts, at that time apart from his credit cards and some petty cash in his wallet. The Hong Kong authorities had apparently jumped the gun, acting on a public tip-off that was later traced to a telephone call which came from a public telephone booth in Semporna, and was left red-faced in the process.
So, this whole story about Micheal Chia getting caught with bag load of foreign currency in Hong Kong Airport is a whole lot of rubbish. It never happened.
The Hong Kong case, if any, has been closed but PKR and Musa’s Suluk Filipino political enemies do not want to cease and desist. They are doggedly flogging the Hong Kong in various recycle versions and liberally dishing them around among the alternative media with known links to PKR and Anwar. These are those who, for want of a better term, are known as the ang pow journalists. They collect cash weekly for their efforts including in being cybertroopers from various moneybags linked to PKR.
A new spin from these ang pow journalists, taking orders from both PKR and the Suluk Filipinos, is that Attorney-General Gani Patail is related to Musa through his wife. Hence, as the spin continues, his reluctance to prosecute the Sabah Chief Minister and his brother “despite the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) having concluded its investigations”.
The fact of the matter is that it’s not the AG who immediately decides on the prosecution of Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders suspected of being involved in corruption. The MACC files on such leaders have to be sent to the Prime Minister who in turn will have to return them to the Commission before they are sent to the AG for further action, if any.
In Musa and Anifah’s case, even if there’s an MACC file on both of them, it’s unlikely that it has been sent to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak. Indeed, even if such a file exists and it has been sent to the Prime Minister, it’s highly unlikely that he would be so foolish as to send it back to the MACC for onward transmission to the A-G. This is the system first initiated by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
The MACC files on Eric Chia of Perwaja Steel and Kasitah Gaddam were under lock and key in Mahathir’s office for years. It was his successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi aka Pak Lah, who sent these files back to MACC. The rest is history.
Najib, even if there’s a circumstantial case against Musa and Aman, is unlikely to rock his Fixed Deposit state of Sabah just because some Suluk Filipino got too big for his boots and wants to be Chief Minister.
For one, no Suluk Filipino will ever become Chief Minister of Sabah. The Dusuns in particular — including the Kadazan or urban Dusuns – and Murut would not allow it. That would be the worst imaginable political scenario for them since it would open the floodgates to further influx of illegal immigrants from the Philippines in particular.
Mindful that the Dusuns and Muruts through Joseph Pairin Kitingan and the Parti Bersatu Sabah are solidly behind Musa, the Suluk Filipinos recently tried to sponsor KDM Malaysia as an NGO to further split the non-Muslim Natives as a political force to reckon with in the state. Their efforts came to nothing and the NGO is currently on the verge of being deregistered by the Registrar of Societies (ROS).
For another, the Suluk Sabahans and other local Muslims – Dusun, Bajau, Barunai, Irranun, among others – are dead set against a Suluk Filipino taking the reins of the state government.
The stand was made clear by the Suluk Sabahans who have re-grouped under the old United Sabah National Organisation (USNO) in a protest against the disproportionate political role being played in UMNO by the Suluk Muslims.
The Suluk Filipinos running amok in Sabah, like other illegal immigrants, should thank their lucky stars that they have not so far been detained and deported to the Philippines and banned forever from entering the state.
If they think that they can cover up their tracks and buy political protection by seizing the Chief Minister’s post, they are sadly mistaken.
Already, local Muslims feel increasingly marginalized and disenfranchised by the continuing influx of the illegal immigrants who go on to enter the electoral rolls and monopolize opportunities which would have otherwise gone to them.














UMNO has a long tradition of parting with its leaders for various reasons 













Monday, 16 April 2012 11:13

EXPOSED: Musa Aman's multi-million US dollar account in HK bank

Written by  Sarawak Report
A multi-million US dollar account, opened in the name of Richard Christopher Barnes with the Swiss Bank UBS in Hong Kong, was operating under written instructions that the money was to be held in trust for Musa Aman, according to evidence gained from the Hong Kong authorities.
A letter, dated 25th May 2007 and now in the possession of the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), stated the account should “hold [the money] on trust for Aman”.
Investigators noted that on 31st May 2008 that account contained USD 29.6 million!
Flow chart to Musa’s own Zurich account!
A key flow chart, compiled by the ICAC, shows a money trail leading from timber kickbacks to Musa Aman’s own personal bank account with UBS in Zurich!
Barnes, a Sabah lawyer, was believed to be acting as a nominee for Musa Aman. The information on his key account relating to the Chief Minister, UBS A/C231117, forms part of a flow chart analysis, compiled by ICAC investigators, who were tracing the money flowing in and out of the Hong Kong bank accounts controlled by one of Musa’s other known side-kicks, Michael Chia (Chia Tien Foh).
"Hold on trust for Aman" - the written instruction for the money flowing in from Chia's accounts into Barnes' UBS holding account in Hong Kong.
Chia had had been arrested in the city-state while attempting to smuggle SG$16million in cash to Malaysia, sparking a major money laundering investigation.
A parallel investigation was undertaken by Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). However we have learnt that inter-country cooperation was blocked by Musa’s close family contact, the Attorney General, Abdul Gani.
The ICAC flow chart (below) illustrates how money was coming into Chia’s accounts from companies related to timber production in Sabah and flowing out to accounts being managed on behalf of Chief Minister, Musa Aman, including the one in the name of Richard Christopher Barnes.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission received a copy of this information and Sarawak Report now also has a copy.  We also have copies of numerous bank statements that verify the information in the flow chart.
Those who claim these are forged should ask UBS and HSBC to confirm that these accounts never existed and to make a statement that there was no letter of 23.05.07, commanding that the UBS Christoper Richard Barnes account should be held “on trust for Aman”.
Likewise, doubters should ask the ICAC to deny that the flow chart information is authentic.
Final destination was Musa's Zurich UBS account! - The ICAC chart tracks money from Chia's accounts into Barnes' holding account and then on into Aman's UBS Zurich account in his own name.
Final destination was Musa Aman’s Zurich UBS account!
Turning a blind eye? - UBS Hong Kong facilitated an entire network of bank accounts channelling money from timber kickbacks through to the BVI and then on to a UBS account in Zurich owned by Musa Aman
The flow chart shows clearly how money coming in from certain companies into accounts, managed by Michael Chia and his nominees in Hong Kong, was then passing on to a number of British Virgin Island companies (CTF International, Zenique Investment, Blisstop Corp) and then back to the UBS Hong Kong account managed by Richard Christopher Barnes, A/C 231117.
The chart next clearly demonstrates that the accumulated money was then being passed straight from Barnes into an account in Zurich in the name of Musa Aman, UBS A/C 230-75069201.
Investigators noted that on 31st May 2008 these Barnes accounts contained USD 29.6 million for account 231117, USD 37 million for account 280777 and SGD9.5 mill for account 280666
The Hong Kong Account 231117, which had been in existence since 2006, received a US$22.4 million injection of money from another Barnes account, between April 28th and May 31st.
There was an instruction to forward that money on to the Musa Aman account in Zurich (opened back in 1999), which already held US$8.9million.  However, we understand that this instruction was frozen, along with the money,  when the ICAC investigators moved in.
Nevertheless, late last year the 3 year statutory period on investigations ran out and the money is now believed to have been accessed by the account holders.
Those involved blame Malaysia’s refusal to sign a cooperation agreement on the investigation for the collapse of the case and the subsequent release of all the money back to Musa and his collaborators.  That refusal was the responsibility of Attorney General, Abdul Gani Patail, a close relative of Musa.
Denis Chua
We have ascertained that the entire web of these transactions was managed by a UBS bank employee at the time, client manager Denis Chua.  Chua had originally worked at the Singapore branch for HSBC Hong Kong, where he managed Chia’s account until 2006.
However, after Chua moved to UBS, HSBC reviewed the Chia accounts and requested that they be closed down, owing to the irregularity of such huge sums being channelled through it.
It is unclear whether or not HSBC notified the authorities as they closed the account.  However, they then proceeded authorise the release of the contents of the account. which came to the enormous sum of SG$13.4million and US$7.19 million.
HSBC provided a series of cashiers orders for millions of dollars made out to Chia, which he was then able to present to Chua for payment into his new account at UBS.
Forgery? - SG$5.2million cash order made out to Chia - Accepted by UBS and received and signed for by Denis Chua! This was one of several made out to Chia in order for him to remove his money from his HSBC account.
We have copies of these cashiers orders and the flow chart further confirms our information that Chia presented these bank orders to Chua, who opened the new account A/C 231026 at his new employers, the Swiss bank UBS in June 2006.
Musa's 'collecting agent' - Michael Chia
Chua also opened a series of other accounts for collaborators of Chia, who also channelled money through to Barnes via a separate set of BVI companies, which Chua had helped them to set up. These BVI companies then opened UBS bank accounts back in Hong Kong/Singapore to receive money through.
Presumably, by spreading the money into different accounts Chia was hoping to make the enormous sums involved seem less conspicuous!
However, the authorities saw through the ruse.  The MACC case number against Musa Aman was lodged as Complaint 113/2009.
Source was timber kickback money
Based on our extensive documents and insider information, Sarawak Report is able to confirm that the money pouring into Michael Chia’s accounts were the proceeds of timber corruption and that the young man was acting as the collecting agent for kickbacks for concessions, granted by Musa Aman in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of Yayasan Sabah.
According to insiders, much of the money coming into the Chia accounts was linked to concessions awarded to the Sabah timber trader Andrew Lim of the Priceworth Industries (listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange), the brother of the tycoon Freddy Lim.  Freddy Lim, who controls Kretam Holding, also on the KL Stock Exchange, is the controlling influence behind the Hong Kong company Wayco Enterprises Ltd, which acts as an agent between Malaysian timber traders and buyers from China and elsewhere.
Musa Aman awarded Lim numerous concessions in Sabah’s remaining forest areas.
"Concurred by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees" - i.e. Musa Aman directly authorised the concession
While Andrew Lim was receiving valuable timber concessions worth millions of ringgit “concurred by the Chairman of Board of Trustees Yayasan Sabah” (i.e. the Chief Minister Musa Aman), his brother Freddie’s companies Wayco and Hillywell were pouring millions into Chia’s accounts, which were then wending their way into Aman’s own named accounts.
One of the statements we have - the companies Wayco and Hillywell are both associated with the Lim brothers
The above account was one of numerous account used by Chia together with his wife Yap Loo Mein and business associates to process millions and millions of ringgit.  We can see money coming in from companies like Wayco was being extracted right out again by Chia into another account as it flowed towards its final destination.
Withdrawals from Chia out of the same account that the Lim brothers were paying into
The ICAC chart is not the whole story, according to our further evidence.  The actual amounts siphoned off by Chia in kickbacks from Sabah’s timber trade amounted to billions of dollars say insiders.
Another payee, as we have demonstrated in a previous report is Borion Enterprise Ltd, owned by the Sarawak tycoon,Ting Pek King.  It too was paying millions of dollars into Chia accounts, but is not mentioned in the flow chart.
Other companies involved represented other major tycoons, for example Admond Looh of Java Industries, listed on the KL Stock Exchange, who also received numerous timber concessions from the Musa regime.
"Concurred by Chairman of the Board of Trustees" - 10,000 hectares of virgin forest was signed off to Admond Looh in the Pinangah Forest Reserve, according to the MACC list of concessions (partial copy of list of Looh's licences).
Admond Looh is the beneficial owner of the company Ever Fame Enterprises Limited.  A series of telegraphic transfers into Chia’s own account (example below) even name the reason as “Deposit For Concession”!
"Deposit for Concession"! - Payments into Michael Chia's accounts from Ever Fame Enterprise represented kickbacks from Admond Looh, according to statements recorded by the MACC.
Those who are still swallowing the idea that this whole body of evidence is mere forgery and fiction have a simple recourse to prove their point. They can apply to UBS and HSBC and indeed the ICAC and ask these bodies to confirm that our documents are false information.  They can request a statement that these bank accounts never existed or that the statements have been doctored.
Mr Musa Aman may be a busy chap, but a quick phone call to these institutions by his office should achieve the result with very little of his valuable time being wasted!
Destroying the Heart of Borneo, which Musa Aman pretends to protect!
The concessions awarded to Andrew Lim and another timber tycoon, Elbert Lim, included two large areas of  forest in the WWF Heart of Borneo Treaty Area.  The licences allowed logging in Malua Forest Reserve.
Malua Forest Reserve - Musa Aman allocated these two licences to two cronies just before he signed the Heart of Borneo Treaty !
Protected area in the Heart of Borneo has been quickly logged in advance!
Our researches into Musa Aman’s management of Yayasan Sabah corroborates the information that the Chief Minister has been ‘maximising the squeeze’ on Sabah’s remaining forest areas to get as much logging done as possible.  We have numerous examples of formerly protected areas being handed out in concessions.
One such area was the Protected Forest Reserve in Kuamat Forest below, designated to be left untouched, until Yayasan slipped through a change in its status in 2007.
The red area was Protected Forest until 2007, when Musa's Board of Trustees handed it for logging to timber crony Michael Wong
New maps now show the area as a full-blown timber concession YT1/08.
One moment protected and the next handed as Concession YT1/08 for destruction to Michael Wong - what was Musa's motive?
The handing out of the concession is clearly noted among the numerous concessions listed to Wong in the MACC concession document in our possession.
The new concession was slipped to Wong - (YT1/08)
We have numerous further examples of concessions handed out to cronies of virgin forest areas and protected areas.  These areas should at the very least have been sensitively logged with the proper taxes on the profit going back to the State of Sabah.
However, insiders say that most of these areas have instead been destroyed by “illegal logging” practices, meaning that the trees have instead been clear felled and very little of the wood has been declared through the official channels and therefore properly taxed.
The contention is that much of this “illegal logging” is carried out by the licence holders themselves who want to maximise their profits on the area and avoid tax.
Our information is that kickbacks demanded by Musa’s agent Chia were on average RM2,500 per hectare of each concession.  This amounts to billions of dollars in kickbacks given the huge areas that have been logged since Musa took power.
The concept of careful and sustainable logging, of course, becomes impossible once the boss is accepting kickbacks and is no longer in a position to request that operators act according to the rules.
End the secrecy!
Musa Aman and his neighbour Taib Mahmud in Sarawak have managed to operate their multi-million dollar thefts from their respective states because of the secrecy behind which they conduct their management of the forests.
Timber concessions in Sabah, like Sarawak are treated like state secrets.  Information about who gets what is “Restricted” to “Level 1″ Category readers! not to be duplicated, distributed or displayed to unauthorised eyes, according to the maps we have been leaked!
Why?
Yayasan Sabah maps - Why so secret?!
Musa’s secrecy surrounding his activities as the Head of Yayasan Sabah means that all his denials and protestations of innocence have to be taken on trust. Whereas we have piles of documentation that support the allegations of massive graft and timber corruption that were being investigated by the MACC and the ICAC in 2008 before intervention by the Attorney General closed down these enquiries and prevented further action.
We will be releasing more of this material, which has come into our hands and also be exposing the devastating effect on Sabah’s forests by greed-driven, unsustainable logging over the past few years.  Insiders say that graft and greed in Yayasan Sabah has reached a whole new level since Musa Aman graduated from being its Chief Executive to the Head of State and Chairman of its Board of Trustees.
Little forest is now left in Sabah.  More and more of it is being currently earmarked for “industrial timber production” and oil palm plantation by Musa Aman’s government.  The latest ploy, spearheaded by Musa is so-called ‘mosaic planting’ a scheme to clear fell forest in Natural Forest Management areas.  Critics say it is just another method for grabbing the timber from areas that should be protected.
Time is running out.
Sarawak Report





























Friday, 20 April 2012 10:53

Musa Aman and Chia family in dogfight over barging monopoly?

Written by  Sarawak Report 


A court case, lodged in the High Court of Sabah in Sandakan in February, raises further questions over the business relationship between the Chief Minister, Musa Aman, and the family of Michael Chia, as well as the lawyer Richard Christopher Barnes.
Aman has denied that Michael Chia was his favoured ‘adopted son’ or that he has had any business relations with him.
Yet the court case now reveals that Chia’s father, a barging contractor named Chia Nyet Min, was granted a monopoly over the transportation of logs for Yayasan Sabah during the time that Musa Aman was its Chief Executive in 1997.
Chia’s companies, Kini Abadi Sdn Bhd and Imej Berlian Sdn Bhd, have enjoyed that monopoly ever since, but Chia is now suing for damages of RM84.4 million, because it says Yayasan broke the terms of the monopoly agreement by allowing another contractor to take over some areas of work since 2005.
Mysterious? - The Chia family, owners of Kini Abadi Sdn Bhd and Imej Berlian Sdn Bhd, are now suing Sabah Berjaya Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Yayasan Sabah, headed by their old friend the Chief Minister Musa Aman!
So, have the Chia family and Musa Aman now fallen out, or is this matter a little more complicated and devious?
Damages of RM84.4 million!
The fact that the damages for an infringement of this barging contract are being set at the enormous sum of RM84.4 million, gives a clear picture of the extreme value of the monopoly that Musa Aman’s Yayasan Subsidiary, Sabah Berjaya Sdn Bhd, awarded to Chia’s company.
It begs the question why did Musa Aman decide, as Chief Executive of Yayasan in 1997, to avoid open market competition for barging contractors and hand a state-backed monopoly to just one family?
Is it a coincidence that this company, Kini Abadi Sdn Bhd, just happens to be owned by the father of Michael Chia, the man the Chief Minister has now gone on public record to disown?
Shareholder - Michael Chia's father Chia Nyet Min
After all, until his arrest for suspected money laundering in 2008, Michael Chia used to publicly call himself the ‘adopted son’ of Musa Aman and presented himself as the go-between for the Chief Minister and timber tycoons seeking concessions from Yayasan.
Chia Nyet Min - father of Michael Chia and the winner of an exclusive contract to hold the monopoly over the barging of logs from Yayasan Sabah's timber concessions.
Documents presented in previous court cases testify to this fact, including letters written by the timber dealer Agus Hassan of Peluamas Sdn Bhd, describing Michael Chia as the go-between in negotiations for getting timber contracts [see previous coverage].
Denials
Now, however, the Chief Minister is denying the association with Chia.  This is despite the fact that we have presented bank statements showing that Michael Chia was sending standing payments to Musa Aman’s sons in Australia to fund their education expenses!
The denial also ignores the fact that both Michael Chia and his father have been given numerous timber concessions by Musa, through Yayasan Sabah.
And it flies in the face of the new information that we are now able to make public, which is that Musa had also even granted the Chia family the monopoly over the barging of all the logs transported for Yayasan in the Sandakan region of Sabah!
From our leaked MACC document - the Chia family's dealings with Yayasan Sabah - no business contacts?
How can Musa deny that he has had a business relationship with Michael Chia and his father Chia Nyet Min when there are so many documented ties between this family and Yayasan Sabah, which he has so long been in charge of?
Background to a relationship – Musa and Chia family
Aman’s fortunes in life began to rise after he achieved the position of Party Treasurer for the West Malaysia-backed UMNO party in Sabah in 1992.  This was just before the party achieved its political take-over of the State.
UMNO lost the election in 1993, but then staged its coup by bribing enough ‘frog’ assemblymen from the winning party, in order to get the majority in the State Assembly and to wrest control from the lawful winners of the election.  They have kept tight control of Sabah ever since.
Soon after the UMNO take over, Musa Aman was parachuted in as Chief Executive of Yayasan Sabah.  After all Yayasan Sabah is the trustee of the state’s rich timber resources.  His was clearly a politically motivated appointment to ensure the party had control over this valuable sector.
Aman kept this position until he moved on to win a State Assembly seat himself and then to take over as Chief Minister – at which point he also returned as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Yayasan Sabah!
Back in charge at Yayasan - Musa Aman combines control of Sabah's richest resource with his role as Chief Minister!
Despite his job at Yayasan of supposedly protecting Sabah’s forest reserves for its people and for future generations, Musa appears, instead, to have started cutting the whole lot down as fast as he could, while diverting millions into his own bank accounts (see our previous coverage).
And by further creating a barging monopoly for Chia’s Kini Abadi Sdn Bhd and Imej Berlian Sdn Bhd, Musa Aman also made sure that no one else could benefit from the transportation business and squeezed out local people from potential employment and profit.  Instead all the profit went to Chia’s company.

Timber traders and competitors were soon complaining that the monopoly meant bad service, higher prices and the loss of jobs for local people.  So why would Musa Aman insist on supporting it?
Another kickback opportunity?
Perhaps the Chief Minister would care to deny our inside information that the Chias were paying him RM5 in cash per m3 of logs transported under this monopoly?
After all this would make a real incentive for his awarding of the monopoly, which is otherwise hard to explain.
The latest agreement giving rights to Kini Abadi
Exclusive rights to transport wood
The contract between Kini Abadi and Yayasan’s subsidiary Sabah Berjaya Sdn Bhd, was renewed a number of times.
However, after a protracted row with timber traders, in particular the tycoon Andrew Lim, who complained to Yayasan bitterly over claims of bad service, Yayasan Sabah allowed some other contractors to come in.
This was the basis for the court case by Chia, since he claimed his agreed monopoly was being transgressed.
Chia’s deposition before the court (of which we have a copy) shows just how much the contract was worth. In his complaint he describes his company as having been appointed as the “exclusive agent” for barging wood extracted by Yayasan Sabah and then details how much timber was involved (below)
Extract from the court deposition by Kini Abadi Sdn Bhd - it shows the huge volume of timber to be transported, growing year on year!
The rates the Chias were allowed to charge for this transportation were laid out in the 2006 agreement, of which we also have a copy (below).
Lucrative - millions of m3 of wood to be charged these rates for transportation - how much was the kickback?
When Andrew Lim’s companies were allowed to start to use alternative barging contractors Chia claimed that the losses to his company amounted to the sum he is now demanding in damages RM84.4million.  He lays out his calculated losses in his deposition to the court (below).
RM84.494,948million to be precise! Chia calculates his losses from the partial loss of his monopoly that he has enjoyed for years, thanks to the good offices of Musa Aman!
Business partners fallen out, or just a new way to make money out of Yayasan’s resources?
Transporting Sabah's logs
On the surface, it would appear that the once cosy relationship between Chia and Musa (which Musa now denies) has gone sour.  The businessman is suing the organisation which Musa heads and which had for years offered Chia such a very valuable monopoly.
On the other hand, insiders have pointed out that the Chia family would “never go against Musa”, from whom they have made millions and from whom they hold numerous valuable timber monopolies.
So, is this just another way to extract money from Yayasan Sabah?  After all this is only money from poor taxpayers, not from Musa himself.  The Chia’s, if they win the case, will walk off with RM84.4million of public money – no problem for Musa!
Barnes connection
Richard Christopher Barnes just happens to be the lawyer often used by Yayasan Sabah when it comes to such things as taking advice on the barging monopoly!
It is also surely noteworthy that the legal advisor to Yayasan Sabah on this matter of the monopoly has been none other than a firm called Shelley Yap.
The Chief lawyer at Shelly Yap is Richard Christopher Barnes, another individual from whom the Chief Minister is now trying to distance himself.
It was Barnes, who was arrested by the authorities along with Michael Chia over the alleged laundering of millions of US dollars worth of timber kickbacks from Sabah.
As we have demonstrated in earlier reports, Hong Kong investigators have shown that Barnes was receiving money from HSBC and UBS accounts managed by Michael Chia and then forwarding it into an account in the name of Musa Aman in Zurich.
The Chief Minister has been actively denying his links to these two men ever since.  Yet how can he deny the fact that he has worked with both of them closely over many years through his dealings with them at Yayasan Sabah?
It is a matter of record!
The Chief lawyer at Shelley Yap, who advises Yayasan Sabah on its monopoly? - Richard Christopher Barnes!
Barnes’ opinion on the subject of granting separate transportation licences to other companies was given to Yayasan Sabah in 2010.  He stated that this would be a breach of the monopoly handed to Kini Abadi and that legally they would be entitled to sue.
This is exactly the outcome that Yayasan now faces with the RM84.4million ringgit suit now tabled against them in the Court in Sandakan!
- http://www.sarawakreport.org/




























Monday, 23 April 2012 10:11

Next to spill the Musa Aman beans: Yes, we cooperated with HK - Swiss authorities

Written by  Sarawak Report 


A statement from the Swiss Attorney General’s office, published today in a national newspaper, has added further dramatic proof to our evidence that Sabah’s Chief Minister, Musa Aman, has been under investigation over timber kickbacks worth at least US$90million.
The Zurich-based Sunday weekly, Sonntagszeitung, was following up on our reports that the Hong Kong authorities had traced millions of dollars, flowing from companies linked to Sabah timber concessions into a UBS Zurich bank account in the name of Musa Aman himself.
Sonntagszeitung first challenged UBS, the Swiss bank which had allegedly managed the transactions through a complex web of bank accounts, controlled by two of the Chief Minister’s close associates, the timber trader Michael Chia and Sabah solicitor Richard Christopher Barnes.
The bank has so far declined to comment.
Statement from the Swiss Attorney General’s Office confirms the investigation!
However, the newspaper did receive crucial confirmation of the investigation from Switzerland’s legal enforcement agency, the Attorney General’s Office.
Journalists posed a carefully worded question, which mentioned Musa Aman by name, highlighted his position  and specified the exact sum of US$90million that the Hong Kong authorities were believed to be investigating.
They asked whether the Swiss authorities had been approached by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to assist in providing information about the case in the context of these key facts:
Question: “The Malaysian politician Musa Aman, Minister of the State of Sabah, is at the centre of a corruption case in Malaysia and Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s anti corruption authority has compiled a report on the case. It is alleged that, through nominees, Aman has received a total of 90 million US dollars of corruption payments from logging companies in return for granting logging concessions. Allegedly, these funds have been laundered through a network of companies and deposited on UBS accounts in Hong Kong and Zurich. Lawyer Richard Christopher Barnes and businessman Chia Tien Foh have been mentioned as nominees. These occurrences date back to the years 2006 to 2008.
My question is the following one: Has the Office of the Attorney General led an investigation for suspected money-laundering or other criminal offences in this context?“ [Translation of the question submitted to the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, by the Zurich-based Sunday weekly, Sonntagszeitung, 20th April 2012]
It is the reply of the Attorney General’s Office to this question that clearly confirms the investigation into Musa Aman for suspected money-laundering:
Statement: “The Office of the Attorney General has in this context provided legal assistance. The result of the legal assistance enforcement has been forwarded to the Federal Office of Justice on 29th March 2012 for transmission to the requesting authorities in Hong Kong.
The Office of the Attorney General does not inform on the content or the enforcement of the legal assistance request. As legal assistance enforcement authority, we generally do not answer questions on investigations led abroad. The authority on information lies with the foreign criminal prosecutors in charge.“[Translation of reply by Jacqueline Bühlmann, spokesperson for the Office of the Attorney General 20th April 2012]
“In this context”!
Showman - Musa Aman is going to have to explain why Switzerland was cooperating into an investigation into money laundering by him
It is the crucial acknowledgement of the context of the investigation, as one focusing on the Chief Minister himself for suspected money-laundering, in collaboration with Michael Chia and Richard Christopher Barnes, that will make it most difficult now for Musa Aman to continue to shrug off this matter, as if it was mere invention.
Over the past days Aman and his supporters have operated a strategy of total denial, issuing statements accusing Sarawak Report of producing made up stories, false evidence and forged documents.
They have maintained this stance, even though neither UBS nor the Hong Kong and Malay authorities have been prepared to take the obvious step of disowning our material, which they clearly would have done if the documents were false.
CLICK FOR FULL SIZE FLOW CHART
The key flow chart information from Hong Kong's ICAC investigation, which Musa Aman has so far denied
Now Musa Aman will clearly be obliged to make a further statement to explain his position in the face of this latest development.  Is he going to claim that the Swiss prosecutor is also telling lies?  Or will he claim that it is the Swiss National Newspaper that has lied about what the prosecutor has said?
He will find such tactics hard, because a separate statement given to Sonntagszeitung by the Swiss Federal Office of Justice has also confirmed that it facilitated the international transfer of the documents provided by the Office of the Attorney General to Hong Kong:
Statement: “I can add that, on 31st March 2011, the Federal Office of Justice transmitted the legal assistance files, as collected by the Office of the Attorney General, to the requesting authority in Hong Kong.” [Translation of statement by Folco Galli, Head of Information of the Swiss Federal Office of Justice, 20th April 2012]
Time for “the Hong Kong authorities to provide details”
In response to these crucial developments the Swiss NGO the Bruno Manser Fund has now issued its own challenge to the Hong Kong authorities to provide further details on the investigation.
Given that the Swiss authorities have indicated that the authority on the case lies with the initiating agency, BMF has requested a full disclosure from the ICAC in its press release today.
And the NGO also signals that it will be calling for a further investigation of the role of the Swiss bank UBS in the whole affair:
“The Bruno Manser Fund asks the Hong Kong authorities to provide details on the results of its investigations, as this is a question of highest public interest at the international level. The Bruno Manser Fund strongly criticizes UBS for allowing timber kickbacks to be laundered through its accounts and is currently examining if the bank’s conduct includes legal offences under Swiss law” [BMF press release, 20/04/12]
More evidence in our dossier on Musa Aman
Meanwhile, Sarawak Report plans to continue the release of further damning documents from its dossier on this case over coming days.
We will also continue to ask why the Malaysian Attorney General, Abdul Gani Patail and Prime Minister Najib Razak have both steadfastly blocked the prosecution of this case against their key political ally the Chief Minister of Sabah?
While the Swiss authorities have cooperated in the investigation, the Malaysians have not.
Click here for English translation of the original Swiss article below:

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                                            UMNO has a long tradition of parting with its leaders for various reasons 














                                            Whistleblower website Sarawak Report has revealed more documents purportedly from the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), claiming that a Sabah lawyer has a Swiss bank account holding close to US$30 million on trust for Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman. 

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