Sabah CM denies link to timber graft scandal
KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman today denied corruption allegations linking him to an RM400-million timber graft scandal as exposed recently by whistleblower site Sarawak Report.
In a short statement here, the Umno leader also denied any link with Sabah timber trader Michael Chia, who was arrested and charged with money laundering after attempting to smuggle SGD16 million (RM40 million) back to Malaysia in 2008. According to media reports, Chia had allegedly told the Hong Kong authorities that the money belonged to Musa.
"I deny all these allegations. I wish to put it on record once again that I have no business association whatsoever with an individual named Michael Chia," the usually media-shy Musa (picture) said in a statement today.
Musa instead accused Sarawak Report of defaming him, claiming the graft allegations were likely part of a conspiracy by his detractors who wanted to topple Barisan Nasional (BN) in the east Malaysian state.
"If is unfortunate that there are people out there who will keep using recycled allegations to get to the top when election is near.
"The people of Sabah can decide for themselves based on my track record. Not faceless and nameless people who use blogs to serve their political interest," he said.
But Musa added that he would offer full cooperation to the authorities if he was required to but stressed that in the meantime, his focus was on serving the state instead of "entertaining these frivolous allegations".
Sarawak Report had claimed last week to be in possession of documents showing Musa's and his brother's, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, link to a multimillion-ringgit timber graft scandal.
Earlier this week, PKR leaders moved to claim the same, saying that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had already recommended a court case against the duo but this was allegedly blocked by the Attorney-General's Chambers.
PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli and deputy secretary-general Darell Leiking also issued a one-week deadline on the BN government to order both Musa and Anifah to take temporary leave from their duties and a suspension on A-G Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, who has also been linked to numerous other scandals.