Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What happened to the RM29 million health clinic probe?

From Lee Kee, via e-mail
No amount of money spent on public relations will regain the public’s confidence in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) until it displays true justice and independence from the powers that be.
The MACC’s selective persecution and prosecution is so glaring to the public that only a daft person will believe it is a truly anti-graft agency.
And, please don’t rate its administration with Hong Kong’s ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption). It’s insulting.
The Teoh Beng Hock tragedy continues to hog the limelight and public anguish has yet to die down after more than two years and only shows it is futile to defend the MACC.
Teoh’s death was caused by the MACC. Whether its officers were directly or indirectly responsible, it is still unclear because of the cover ups.

The public cannot stomach the fact that the MACC found it just to grill Teoh aggressively as a witness against his boss, a Selangor DAP executive councillor, over the purchase of Malaysian flags costing about RM2,000 plus for the Merdeka celebration.
However, there are many cases which have resulted in millions, if not billions, of ringgit in losses to the government (read taxpayers). The infamous Port Klang Free Zone financial scandal is the biggest, running into billions of ringgit.
Unfortunately, there is also another case involving MCA bigwigs running into millions but the MACC is just sitting on it.

Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai had in 2009 ordered a probe into the purchase of land for Klinik Kesihatan Taman Ungku Aminah in Johor Baru (on Lot 44148, PTD71027 HS (D) 239701 Mukim Pulai, Johor Bahtu – about 7.448 acres).
Until today, Liow has evaded and refused to clarify what has happened to the probe? Why the silence? Is Liow covering his MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek’s behind? Or are there other reasons?
The probe was completed last year but little birds in MCA have revealed that the probe papers, with about 28 letters and documents attached, had found their way to the MACC.
Why is the MACC sitting pretty on the case with such mounting evidence is anyone’s guess. But we don’t really need a genius to tell us why.
A special purpose vehicle for the scam, Kurnia Heights Sdn Bhd, was set up to buy the land at about RM8 million plus and subsequently, the same land was sold to the Barisan Nasional (BN) government (read Health Ministry) at a grossly inflated value of RM29 million.
The directors and shareholders of Kurnia Heights have family ties to a Tee Siew Keong, the political secretary to the then Health Minister, Dr Chua Soi Lek.
The probe papers revealed highly suspicious circumstances surrounding the transactions. Consider the following:
- The project was initially identified and initiated by the Health Ministry through its Bahagian Perancangan dan Pembangunan and Pejabat Kesihatan Johor Baru from April to July 2005;
- Kurnia Heights shareholders included a Phua Tai Kiang, a brother-in-law of Tee Siew Keong’s wife, Lee Choon Guek, the political secretary of then Health Minister Dr Chua Soi Lek;
- Kurnia Heights acquired a power-of-attorney after it signed a sale and purchase agreement with the original land owners, the Lee family of Maha Global Sdn Bhd for a sum of about RM8 million plus. The documents show a redemption sum of about RM4.065 million paid to the charge bank, RHB Bank Bhd, and about RM3.048 million paid to Maha Global directly with the usual upfront deposit. The land was subsequently sold to the Barisan Nasional government (again read taxpayers) for an astonishing RM29 million! Kurnia Heights is seen to have made a clean profit of RM19 million from the sale and purchase transactions;
- Kurnia Heights is clearly a special purpose vehicle set up for the purpose of the land transaction as it did not have the cash reserve and assets to be able to transact such a large amount. No bank loans were taken by Kurnia Heights to finance the purchase. The company merely relied on the power-of-attorney to deal on behalf of Maha Global as against the BN government;
- Kurnia Heights obviously had prior and inside knowledge of the intended acquisition of land by the government before the power-of-attorney and land purchase from Maha Global took place. The timing of the transactions i.e between the date of the purchase of land, which happened in October 2005, and the date of the gazette of land acquisition  (and change from private school status to polyclinic). Only persons such as the minister and senior officers in the Health Ministry have such intimate information;
- There is no reason for an “investment holding” company such as Kurnia Heights to purchase the land which is restricted to private school use, before the gazette by the government, unless it has prior and inside information that the government had already decided to buy the land;
- The person by the name of Tee Yok Ong, who is a relative but is not a director or shareholder of Kurnia Heights was authorised to collect the cheque from the government on behalf of the company;
- There were suspicious reports from Jabatan Penilaian dan Perkhidmatan Harta (JPPH) that indicated the land was over-valued; and
- Despite objections raised, the instruction to pay Kurnia Heights was given, as documented.
Malaysia will surely be bankrupted in no time by the corrupt if the BN government is allowed to continue with such practices.
Ultimately, the rakyat or taxpayers will have to bear the consequences.

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