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Thursday, July 29, 2010

'Sign of more big fish to be hauled'

MCA MUST BE FEELING THE HEAT. BEING THE SECOND LARGEST COMPONENT PARTY IN THE BN, ITS A DISGRACE FOR ITS FORMER LEADER TO BE CHARGED WHILE OTHERS ARE JUST 'LEFT FREE'.



Opposition leaders today welcomed the decision to charge former MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik, with DAP's Tony Pua stating that it indicated “more big fish” would be hauled to court.

"It's good to see the Attorney-General finally charge the big fish. This is the biggest corruption case in Malaysian history," he said.

"It's a sign that more big fish are coming," added the party's chief economist and Petaling Jaya Utara MP.

"This shows that the prosecution is more competent, especially when previous prosecutions have either botched or failed," he added.

This evening, Ling, the former transport minister, was charged with two counts of cheating in relation to the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

The 67-year-old former MCA boss, who could face a jail term if found convicted, pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Meanwhile, Pua, who noted that other high-profile figures were involved, said: "Ling cannot be acting alone."

Asked if he had expected the news, he said: "No, it's a surprise, and a sign of a positive prosecution."

He also agreed when asked if the latest development was a sign that the general election was around the corner.

“You spotted the right question, well done,” he said, without elaborating.

Can of worms

Meanwhile, PAS research head Dzulkefly Ahmad, who also welcomed the move to charge Ling, however, reminded Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak that it would not have a bearing on the next election.

“If Najib thinks that by bringing Ling to justice will shore up support for himself and Barisan Nasional, he must be reminded of his own baggage that is hanging over his head,” he said.

“He can call for a general election soon if he believes in his own illusion,” he added.

The PAS leader also said that Ling's trial could open up a can of worms for the ruling coalition.

“We must remember that PKFZ was an Umno-MCA project. By charging him, he will reveal how corrupt the BN government is. All the ones involved should not be allowed to get away scot-free,” he said, calling it a “good start”.

In an another immediate reaction, PKR vice-president Azmin Ali also lauded the move, saying however that Ling should be given a fair trial to defend himself.

"As a matter of principle, though, we would also like to see action taken against those responsible, without fear or favour, to protect the rights of the people," he told FMT.

Although the latest move has raised speculation that Ling may be made a scapegoat, the Gombak MP disagreed, saying Ling "was instrumental in the project".

"He is not a scapegoat. In fact, before his departure from his ministry, he signed a letter of support for this particular project which was used as a collateral by the government.

"I think he must be responsible for it as he was a Cabinet minister representing the government," he said.

He, however, refused to speculate how many more “big fish” will be brought to court over the multi-billion scandal.

"We do not want to speculate but the investigation has taken a long time and I am sure the Attorney-General's Chambers will bring those responsible to court to face the music," said Azmin.

Public interest must be protected

Meanwhile, former MCA president Ong Tee Keat said that no one should be above the law, even if it involved his party senior like Ling.

"The law must be upheld and no one should be above it," he said, adding, however, that he was not interested in specific personalities.

"My only hope is that the interests of the general public, especially the taxpayers, are protected," he told reporters after speaking at 15th Malaysian Law Conference in Kuala Lumpur.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin described the move (to prosecute Ling) as "bold" and "proactive" but said Ling and the prosecutor should be given an opportunity in court.

"(But) the question of the bond payment has to be answered," he said in in his Twitter.

courtesy of FMT

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