25/04: Who is the next Chief Minister of Sabah?

Category: General Posted by: Raja Petra

Raja Petra Kamarudin According to the talk within Umno Sabah circles, Musa Aman may be on the last leg of his tenure as the Sabah Chief Minister. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has summoned Chong Kah Kiat to Putrajaya and this has started tongues wagging that Musa Aman‟s days may be numbered. Kah Kiat was Sabah‟s Deputy Chief Minister until his resignation recently due to differences with Musa Aman. Abdullah‟s first reaction to the episode was to say that Kah Kiat‟s resignation was no loss to Barisan Nasional. Suddenly, Abdullah realises that this statement was a mistake of mega proportions. Umno Sabah is in turmoil so they need the other component members of Barisan Nasional Sabah to save the day. With 18 of the 25 Umno Sabah divisions opposed to Musa Aman and plotting his downfall, without the support of the non-Umno Sabah parties Barisan Nasional is doomed. In 1990, the Kelantan Menteri Besar refused to resign and insisted on contesting one last round. His last tango resulted in the defeat of Umno Kelantan. If they could not force the Menteri Besar to retire, then they would have to kick Umno out instead just so that they can send the reluctant retiree into retirement. In 1999 the same thing happened in Terengganu. The Terengganu Menteri Besar too insisted on a last hurrah. The Terengganu voters kicked Umno out so that they could send the Menteri Besar into retirement. Sabah will soon be travelling the same road as Kelantan in 1990 and Terengganu in 1999. The Sabah people want Musa Aman out. And if they have to kick Umno and Barisan Nasional out to do that then they will do so. Therefore, keeping Musa Aman around and allowing him to take the ruling party into the next election would mean that Parti Keadilan Rakyat‟s aspiration of making Sabah the first state it will rule would probably be translated into reality. Sabah may yet be to Parti Keadilan Rakyat what Kelantan is to PAS. But if Abdullah retires Musa Aman, who would they find to replace him? Musa Aman certainly does not want anyone opposed to him to succeed him. This would mean his successor would be able to open up a can of worms and he would not be a free man long enough to enjoy his estimated RM1 billion fortune he has amassed. He must make sure that his successor is a friendly party and the only two possibilities would be Rahim Ismail and Yahya Hussin. Who are Rahim Ismail and Yahya Hussin? What are their backgrounds and in what way are they linked to Musa Aman? Rahim Ismail, an ex-low ranking forest officer now turned multimillionaire, and Yahya Hussin, an ex-low ranking police officer also now turned multimillionaire, are Musa Aman‟s partners-in-crime. They are the two who have collaborated with Musa Aman in reaping hundreds of millions in commissions and kickbacks in the Umno Sabah

building scam, state government development contracts, and timber concessions that runs into billions of Ringgit. And some of these contracts were awarded even before Parliament approved the Ninth Malaysia Plan (RMK9). Even as Abdullah tabled the RMK9 for debate in Parliament the heavy machinery and construction workers were already hard at work. This is of course not a new story. Malaysia Today has been revealing all this in dozens of special reports since 2004. Let us recap on some of the things we have said.

The new Umno Sabah building. How much does it really cost and how much money did they squeeze from contractors and logging companies to pay for it? In December 2004, Malaysia Today reported that Umno Sabah is building its new headquarters in Karamunsing, Kota Kinabalu. This is what we said then: No one in Umno Sabah seems to know the construction cost of the building -- other than Musa Aman that is. No official building committee was ever formed to oversee the construction of the building and no meetings were ever held to either discuss the details of the building or seek approval from Umno Sabah‟s main committee. In short, Musa Aman is single-handedly managing the entire construction of the building and he is playing his cards close to his chest -- neither informing the other Umno Sabah main committee members details of what is going on, nor seeking its approval before embarking on any decision. But this is not all that is happening. More perplexing is the choice of site. Umno Sabah actually owns a five-acre piece of prime land close to the Bank Simpanan Nasional

building in the swank neighbourhood of the Sutra Resort. For all intents and purposes, this piece of land can be considered a „gold mine‟. Musa Aman, however, refuses to build the new Umno Sabah building on Umno‟s own land. Instead, he is building it on an alternative piece of land in which he has a vested interest. What the size of this land is, whether the entire piece of land or just part of it is being used for this building, and how much has this piece of land been valued for, has not been revealed and no one in Umno Sabah, save for Musa Aman alone, knows the details. The signboard on the building site says that the building owner is Badan Perhubungan Umno Negeri Sabah. However, below that is another name, Accordon Sdn Bhd, which is listed as the developer of the building. Who then is the owner of this new Umno Sabah building; Umno Sabah or Accordon? This is not clear. What is clear is that Umno Sabah does not own the land. The party that does own it appears to be Accordon. But what is the relationship between Umno Sabah and Accordon? No one in Umno Sabah seems to know, other than probably just Musa Aman, and just him alone. If Umno Sabah is the owner of this piece of land or the building, then it would have had to register it in the names of the trustees. And those who are authorised to act as trustees would have to be named and approved by Umno Sabah‟s main committee. As it stands, Umno Sabah has never met to discuss this matter nor has it authorised anyone to act as its trustee. In short, Umno Sabah has entirely no interest in either the land or the building and its name is just being used for purposes best known to those behind this entire scam. But why is Umno Sabah‟s name being used? For two reasons! First of all, a piece of land of this size and at that location would attract a hefty premium. However, since the land is now allegedly owned by Umno, then the premium can either be reduced or waived altogether. Therefore, whoever owns this land can get it practically for free. All they have to do is use part of this land to build the Umno Sabah building, get an exemption on the premium, and the balance of the land would be theirs for free. As it now stands, no one in Umno Sabah seems to know how much the construction cost of the building is. Is it RM30 million, is it RM40 million, or is it RM50 million? Your guess is as good as mine and the one person who knows, Musa Aman, is not talking. But donations are being collected left, right and center (and probably behind as well) from all and sundry. Anyone who wants anything from the Sabah state government or from Umno Sabah needs to first drop a sizeable sum of money into the building fund donation box. The donation box is overflowing as it is, yet money is still being collected. No one knows how much money has been collected thus far because there is no committee, so no accounts or reports need to be tabled at any meetings. Well, that is not true. Actually, the one-man committee, Musa Aman, does know. One person who should know all the financial details is Dato Azizi, the Minister for Local Government, who is also the so-called Treasurer of Umno Sabah. But even he does not know how much money has been collected thus far, or the construction cost of the building, or whether the donations collected are enough (or in surplus) to cover the building cost. All he does know is

money is still being collected and is still pouring in. Businessmen in Sabah are starting to become restless. They know a lot of money has been collected, allegedly for this building. However, according to their rough calculations, the amount of money collected is way in excess of what is required. Their educated guess is more than RM100 million has been collected so far and the collection is still ongoing. If the building costs only RM30 million to RM50 million to build, then this RM100 million is way in excess of requirement. Why then are they still collecting money? Another issue that is making the Sabah businessmen unhappy -- other than the fact they have to keep „donating‟ to the Umno Sabah building fund every time they want something from the state -- is the company that is undertaking the construction of the building, Sabico Sdn Bhd. Sabico is the new blue-eyed boy of Musa Aman and all state contacts are being given to it. Could it be that Sabico is constructing the building for free and that is why it is being given tons of contracts? If so, then there is a strong possibility that all these „donations‟ being collected are not really going towards paying for the building after all. For example, Sabico has been given a RM10 million contract to paint the Sabah Religious Department (MUIS) building. The contract was not tendered out but was given to Sabico on a negotiated basis. Why was this contract not tendered out? Is RM10 million the best price to paint a building or could it have been done much cheaper if the contract had been tendered out and awarded to the lowest bidder? How many more „negotiated without tender‟ contracts has Sabico been awarded? Do the Sabah Muslims know that the zakat money they have been paying MUIS is actually being indirectly used to pay for Umno Sabah‟s building? Questions, questions and more questions that begs answers! In response to Malaysia Today‟s revelation, Rahim Ismail, the Umno Sabah Information Chief, came out with the statement below that was published in The Star on 17 December 2004. We have nothing 'to hide' Ruben Sario KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno is of the view that everything is in the clear for its new RM35mil, 11-storey headquarters now under construction in the city. “As far as Sabah Umno is concerned, I can assure you that everything is above board,” state Umno information chief Datuk Rahim Ismail said, when contacted over a letter that appeared in the website of a local newspaper on December 3. A similar letter was posted on an online newspaper on Wednesday. The letter insinuated that something was amiss in the deal for the construction of the Sabah Umno building on a 0.48ha site in Karamunsing. Among the questions raised were why Umno did not use its own 2ha land in Sembulan to

construct its headquarters and who was overseeing the construction. The letter purportedly written by someone known as Haniffa, raised various questions on who was the real owner of the new building and if there was any relationship between Sabah Umno and the company developing it. Rahim, who is a member of the building committee, declined to say anything else other than stressing that everything about the project was above board. It is learnt that Sabah Umno would let the matter rest although the party discussed it at a meeting a few days ago. The explanation given was that the building, for which the groundbreaking ceremony was held on May 16 last year, had the blessing of the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. Umno officials said yesterday that the land was donated by a private company, with the full knowledge of the party leadership. They said they decided not to construct their building on their own 2ha land at Sembulan because the party wanted to keep it as a prime city property. “There is nothing secret about this deal,” said a senior Sabah Umno official. The new Sabah Umno headquarters, which is expected to be completed next year, would not only house the party‟s offices but also banks, shops and a hall with a seating capacity for 2,000 people.

The home of Rahim Ismail, an ex-forest department officer and Chief Minister Musa Aman's accomplice in raising an estimated more than RM200 million in 'donations' to pay for the Umno Sabah building, only 20% of which went to the building while the balance went missing. Even earlier to that, a popular website, Umno Reform, published this letter below which gives us an insight to Yahya Hussin:

Miliki Rumah RM 7 Juta: Siasat YB Datuk Haji Yahya Hussin Saifulnazri 10-03-2004 Penangkap Eric Chia dan Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam merupakan petanda besar usaha Perdana Menteri memerangi rasuah. Tan Sri Kasitah merupakan orang kenamaan kedua yang ditahan BPR. Bekas Pengarah Urusan Perwaja Steel Sdn Bhd Tan Sri Eric Chia dihadapkan ke Mahkamah Sesyen dan menuntut dibicarakan terhadap tuduhan pecah amanah melibatkan lebih RM76 juta 10 tahun lepas. Penahanan orang kenamaan dan beberapa siri tangkapan dan pendakwaan kes rasuah lain akhirakhir ini mencerminkan kesungguhan kerajaan untuk memerangi habis-habisan gejala rasuah di negara ini. Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi juga mengarahkan pihak berkuasa mempercepatkan siasatan kes rasuah supaya imej kerajaan tidak tercemar. YB Datuk Rais Yatim, Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri mencetuskan kontroversi apabila menyatakan ada beberapa lagi kes akan di bawa kpea mahkamah melibatkan individu berprofil tinggi. Situasi ini menyebabkan beberapa menteri atau Exco kerajaan negeri tidak senang duduk dan gusar. Satu isu menarik yang harus di siasat oleh Badan Pencegah rasuah ialah YB Datuk Yahya Hussin sekarang ini yang menjawat jawatan sebagai Menteri Pembangunan Infrastuktur dan Setiausaha Badan Perhubungan UMNO Negeri Sabah telah memiliki rumah banglo bernilai kira-kira RM 7 juta. Beginikah seorang pemimpin kerajaan negeri mempunyai kekayaan berjuta ringgit. Yahya Hussin merupakan salah seorang menteri kabinet kepercayaan YAB Datuk Musa Aman, Ketua Menteri Sabah. Dilaporkan beliau mempunyai sahabat atau kontraktor-kontraktor yang membantu beliau selama ini dalam kerier politiknya. Pengalaman beliau dalam Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar , Menteri Perhubungan dan Kerja Raya (Jun 1997-Mac 1999) , Menteri Kerajaan Tempatan dan Perumahan (Mac 1999 - Mac 2001) banyak membantu kroninya untuk memiliki kontrak dari kementeriannya tidak hairanlah dapat membantunya mendirikan semua banglo bernilai RM 7 juta di kawasannya. Ini tidak termasuk syarikat di bawah miliknya yang dikendalikan oleh orang lain. Saya berharap pihak BPR menyiasat perkara ini. Pemimpin seumpama ini tidak boleh dibiarkan memimpin negeri Sabah. Saifulnazri Yusof Lot 163, Taman Bersatu Jalan Lama KM 11 88200 Putatan, Sabah

The home of Yahya Hussin, an ex-police officer and the Deputy Chairman of the Umno Special Task Force entrusted with the job of flooding Sabah with more than one million new voters 'imported' from overseas. Chief Minister Musa Aman was the Task Force Chairman.