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.
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.