By Clara Chooi
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.