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Public Interest Requires The Establishment Of A Royal Commission Of Inquiry To Determine The Truth Behind The RM 756.7 Million Metramac/Cheras Toll Collection Scandal.



Media Statement
by Lim Guan Eng

(Melaka, Wednesday):  Public interest requires the establishment of a Royal Commissin of Inquiry to determine the truth behind the RM 756.7 million Metramac/Cheras toll collection scandal. Malaysians have been outraged by the revelations of wrongdoing in this scandal as exposed by the the Court of Appeal’s judgment  written by Judge Datuk Gopal Sri Ram's on 12 January 2006 in Fawziah Holdings Sdn Bhd Vs Metramac Corporation Sdn Bhd. 

Some Malaysians have also been confused about the counter-allegations made by Halim Saad against Judge Gopal Sri Ram which is seen as bordering on contempt of court. In order to avoid legal issues getting into the way of establishing the truth such confusion can only be cleared up with a Royal Commission of Inquiry into 6 particular findings established by the Court of Appeal:

1.   This scandal revolves around paying RM 97.5 million for a company that allowed the new owners Anuar Othman and Dato Halim Saad to receive compensation of RM 756.7 million from the government. Why should public money be used to allow this two to make such huge profits of RM756.7 million from a mere RM 97.5 million investment?

2.    How is paying RM756.7 million compensation to Anuar Othman and Dato Halim Saad in the public interest when as Judge Gopal said, “taxpayers' money was channeled into the hands of two private individuals - to profit them - instead of a wider section of the general public. It is not at all clear why the Minister for Finance used his power to favour Anuar Othman and Dato Halim Saad.”? The wider section of the general public that lost out included Bank Pembangunan Malaysia and Lembaga Urusan dan Tabung Haji Malaysia.

3.   Why did the then Minister for Finance Tun Daim Zainuddin used his patronage to favour Anuar and Halim not Fawziah Holdings Bhd, the original owners of Metromac? Judge Gopal Sri Ram even used the words `magic spell’ and by `the rub of a magic lamp’ to highlight the situation of the Federal Government and DBKL who hitherto claimed to be impoverished suddenly found themselves flush with funds.  To the extent compensation to the company now owned by Halim and Anuar amounted  to a total sum of RM 756.7 million.

4.   The role played by Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) is signing a new toll concession agreement to collect toll at Cheras in on 13 February 1992 after toll collection was suspended following widespread public demonstrations in September 1991.

5.   The then Public Works Minister Datuk Leo Moggie must explain why his Ministry gave the defendant an undertaking to pay it RM 32.5 million as `payment for share premium’ not `previously taken into account’ with the final conclusion by Judge Sri Ram that “you may well ask how all this could have happened without the direct involvement of Tun Daim.”

6.   RM 32.5 million mentioned earlier was siphoned out of the defendant's account by Anuar Othman and Dato Halim Saad. An international misappropriation of such a company’s property, moveable or immoveable criminal breach of trust within section 405 of the Penal Code and, if the misappropriation is done by directors, as was the case here, it is the aggravated form of criminal breach of trust under section 409. By doing so, the two businessmen could face a maximum 20-year jail term with whipping and fine upon conviction. 

These are the 6 principal questions of public interest that must be addressed. If no action is taken, then what hope is there to uphold transparency and accountability if even abuses of power and criminal wrongdoings documented at the highest level by a judge and the Court of Appeal is ignored.                                                


* Lim Guan Eng,  DAP Secretary General

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