Kuala Lumpur: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's Operations Review Panel has requested the attorney-general to review its decision on the RM40 million allegedly channeled from timber trader Michael Chia to Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman.
This was disclosed by one of the panel members at a public forum held by the Bar Council and MACC today.
Bar Council vice-president Chris Leong had posed questions on the disclosure made in Parliament that the controversial case was closed.
"The Operations Review Panel of the MACC had written to the attorney-general to review his decision," senior deputy director of the investigation division Han Chee Rull said, without elaborating further.
The panel is one of the five panels which the MACC is answerable to relating to its investigations and possible non-prosecution of cases.
Earlier reports had quoted Kevin Zervos from Hong Kong's prosecutor's office as saying that the territory's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) was willing to re-open the case if new evidence was unearthed.
PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli (left in photo) is leave for Hong Kong on Tuesday to provide evidence of transactions on the case.
In October, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Abdul Aziz denied any wrongdoing on the part of Musa.
He told Parliament that the RM40 million was a "political donation" to Sabah Umno. Previously, there were allegations suggesting that the funds were timber kickbacks for the chief minister.
According to Zervos, the Hong Kong authorities find "insufficient evidence to take the case further" and they had to close the case after receiving information from Malaysia that the money was a political donation.
It was uncertain where the information on the political donation came from - whether it is the MACC or the Attorney-General's Chambers.
There are fears that attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail (left), who hails from Sabah and is said to be related to Musa's family, may have played a role in clearing the politician.
Tightlipped on PM's role in Scorpene scandal
To another question from the audience, Han said the MACC was investigating the Scorpene case but he refused to disclose whether the investigations centred on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's involvement in the scandal.
"At this particular stage, it is fair to say that the MACC is not investigating any particular person but we are certainly investigating the Scorpene case," said Han.
"It would be wrong for me to make a public statement on who are we investigating as it involves disclosure of facts. Yet investigations have taken place," said the MACC officer.
He was responding to questions as to why human rights group Suaram had resorted to taking the case overseas.
Paris magistrates are currently probing possible corruption by French defence giant DCNS, the manufacturer of the Scorpene submarines, of which two were sold to Malaysia when Najib was defence minister.
Earlier at the forum, Suaram executive director Cynthia Gabriel had expressed concern over the independence of the MACC in its investigations on scandals involving high-profile individuals such as the Scorpene case.
As to the promise made by former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that there were more big fishes to be charged following his calls for reforms in the government administration, Han said the only big fishes nabbed were the few who had been charged.
The MACC and its predecessor, the Anti-Corruption Agency, had charged former Perwaja Bhd chairperson Eric Chia (right) after a seven-year probe. It had also charged former land and cooperatives minister Kasitah Gaddam.
However, both were acquitted by the court.--Courtesy of Malaysiakini