PETALING JAYA, 11 Dec: Beaufort Member of Parliament, Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin declared that Sabah Umno never accepted political donations worth RM40 million from businessman, Michael Chia.
The declaration is conflicting with the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz’s claim last October, that the money is for Umno Sabah.
The declaration was made in a statutory declaration (SD) dated December 10, 2012, at the office of the Commissioner of Oaths Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu High Court, Sabah.
According to Lajim in the SD, Nazri’s alligations in Parliament was so that corruption claims that involved the timber concessions corruption against Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Michael had to be dropped.
On 9 October, in a House of Representatives session, Nazri told that the RM40 million which was channeled from Michael to Musa was a political contribution to Sabah Umno and not to Musa personally.
Nazri had made the statement after media reports stated that Michael was arrested at the Hong Kong International Airport on suspicion of trying to smuggle illegal money of S$16 million (RM 40 million).
According to media reports at the time, Michael claimed that the money belonged to Musa.
Lajim held the position of Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah until 2004 and Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Government until August 2012.
He is a former member of the Sabah Umno Liaison Department.
He said there has never been any discussions, declaration, any evidence of business deals, transactions or arrangements, statement reports or evidence stating that Sabah Umno had benefited from the RM40 million donation.
“Therefore, I conclude that the Minister’s statement to Parliament is not true, deviating and is intended to cover-up larger issues.
“That is the alleged abuse of power in awarding logging licences in Sabah which only benefits some people while the people and the state of Sabah did not get fair returns of investments,” according to Lajim in the SD.
Lajim suspects that logging licences in Sabah are often awarded to individuals who are close to leaders of the Sabah Government.
Lajim also suspects that the illegal funds are kept abroad by using specific agents before being channeled back to the main political leaders in Sabah.
Lajim said that he is willing to come forward to help the investigation of any party in this logging scandal.
“I am confident that my experience, knowledge and insight regarding the way Umno and the government at the Federal and State levels work will help the investigation,” said Lajim in the SD.
Meanwhile, PKR Strategy Director, Rafizi Ramli told the media that the SD is one of the evidences which will be submitted to the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to initiate an inquiry into the scandal.
“His position as a member of the Umno Supreme Council and the Umno Sabah Liaison Department should guarantee that he will also be notified should such a big contribution be made to Sabah Umno,” said Rafizi at a press conference at the PKR headquarters today.