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Friday, November 30, 2012

Explain RM40mil 'donation', Sabahans tell Musa Aman



Despite expressing full support for their scandal-ridden chief minister, Sabah Umno delegates generally are in the dark about the RM40 million "political donation" to the state party and they want Musa Aman to personally explain the issue.

They do not know whether the huge amount of money has been given to the party's branches or divisions and they said they only learnt about the issue when it was reported in the media.

NONEKota Marudu division deputy chief Baintin @ Abd Halim Adun (left) said he still supported the state chief minster but he wants Musa to personally explain the allegation about the money.

"I have never heard about the RM40 million contribution before this. However, as there is such an allegation, I think the leaders in Sabah or the federal level should explain to the grassroots to clarify the real status of that money.

"Especially the person accused, being the Sabah chief minister. He should provide an explanation on the status of the RM40 million," Baintin told Malaysiakini yesterday on the sidelines of Umno general assembly debates.

"For the time being, I don't want to comment anything," he said when asked who was next qualified to be chief minister should the scandal threaten the BN in Sabah in the coming general election. 

"Leave it to the party. But I think Musa's service is still needed in Sabah," Baintin added.

A delegate from Tenom division said the "political donation" matter was "not a hot issue" in the rural areas.
'Deliberately played up by opposition'

The delegate, who refused to be named, was of the view that the matter could be solved, should there be a proper explanation.

"Part of the issue was raised by the opposition... but in the kampung, this issue is not that hot. This issue should be given accurate clarification in order to convince the BN supporters in Sabah," he said.

NONEFor Aripin Kulipo, another delegate from Tenom, the issue was being deliberately played up by the opposition, but its impact in Sabah was limited.

"For me, it is better to have a thorough explanation. I think it should be explained to the grassroots. There is a need for a good explanation so that the money issue will not affect us, especially the Sabah state chief.

"From what I see, the matter is not a big issue in Sabah. It is not a big issue to us," Aripin added.

Asked whether he was aware of the RM40 million and whether some of the money has been channelled to the Tenom division, Aripin replied: "I don't know."
He added: "No money has been given (to Umno divisions). Actually, we have chiefs, but we don't know about the process of getting funds.

"But we as delegates are strongly behind Musa as chief minister."
A delegate from the Sipitang division, Shem @ Andy Balong, said he does not believe the accusation because Musa is a leader with integrity.

"It is not correct. I don't believe it because Musa is an honest leader with good reputation. Other people use him as a political issue.

NONE"Yes, he is indeed an honest man. The Sabah economy has leaped and it is one of the best (under Musa's administration). Maybe that's why the opposition created the issue to pull him down, to tarnish his image," Shem said.

In 2008, Malaysian businessman Michael Chia (right in picture above) was detained by Hong Kong authorities as he tried to board a plane to Kuala Lumpur, carrying Singapore currency to the tune of RM40 million.

Speculation over the purpose and source of the money have been rife, since Chia is well-connected and is said to enjoy very cozy ties with Musa Aman.

NONEFour years later, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (left) told Parliament that both the Attorney-General's Chambers and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission have cleared Chia of any wrongdoing.

Nazri said both departments had also concluded that the funds were meant for Sabah Umno and not for Musa.

However PKR is not satisfied with Nazri's answer and its officials have travelled to Hong Kong to request the city's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to reopen its investigation into the money laundering.

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