Is Jasin's MP Datuk Mohd Said CLOWNING? Under INVESTIGATION, making EXPOSE to cover his BUTT or just ASKING for MORE trouble.
"This is of public interest," he said "Public revenue has been lost. Unlike in my sawn timber case, there was no loss of revenue as the timber did not involve any tax. Government had nothing to lose in that case."
If you believe him!
Commenting on the issue, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said "MPs should not be denied the right to speak up in Parliament on any matter, as they are covered by parliamentary privilege"
Datuk Mohd Said is under investigation for his “one eye closed” encounter with the Customs people recently. The panel of four ministers conducting an inquiry into the actions of Datuk Mohd Said Yusuf, who is alleged to have interfered in the duties of the Royal Malaysia Customs over imported timber from Indonesia, has deferred making a decision on the case.
The panel, which was headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional chief Whip in Parliament, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, took the step as it did not want to prejudice investigations by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) and the police regarding the case.
"We have recorded all testimonies needed and decided that, because certain agencies are investigating the honourable MP from Jasin, it is not appropriate for us to make a decision and announce it now," Najib said.
He said: "Doing so (announcing a finding) could affect the investigations being conducted by the ACA and police. So, it's better for us to wait until their probes are completed and until then we are deferring making any decision on the matter relating to the Jasin MP."
Besides hearing what Mohd Said had to say, the panel also recorded statements from Melaka Customs director Md Hashim Pardi and an enforcement officer from the department in separate sessions. The overall inquiry lasted about 90 minutes.
The other members in the panel were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy, Works Minister Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz. They are the BN's deputy Whips.
Mohd Said is said to have asked an officer from the agency "to close one eye" on an illegal consignment of logs that had been brought in from Indonesia by a timber importer friend.
The Customs officer involved was reported to have refused to do so.
Now he is hitting back to distract the publ;ic. Perhaps with his disclosure that claimed the Customs Department had removed luxury cars, which should have been on the auction block, and privately sold them under special deals to friends, contacts at palaces and government departments. It was to please the buyers for specific reasons or curry favor to obtain honorifics like Datukships.
But he is asking for more trouble even though the Deputy Premier said he has the right to make the accusation as an MP.
Now read on what the Sun says; Talk is cheap, YB; Updated: 02:40PM Fri, 30 Jun 2006
Talk is cheap. And it's made even cheaper when members of parliament (MP) such as Jasin's Datuk Mohd Said Yusof can publicly accuse the Customs Department of corruption, assert that he has proof, and yet declare that he will not lodge a report with the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).
Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Mohd Said accused senior Customs officers of selling seized luxury cars to highly-placed contacts at below market value.
Everyone knows of this abuse and many have complained to him but when pressed by the media outside the Dewan Rakyat, Mohd Said told reporters to look for the evidence instead.
If he already has proof to back his allegations, why wouldn't he lodge a report and provide the ACA with the evidence in hand? Why ask the media to re-invent the proverbial wheel if he already has information that could lead to corrupt officers being held accountable?
Any MP who acts in this way is clearly derelicting his or her responsibilities as a citizen and duties as an elected representative of the people.
What's more, Mohd Said's accusations and refusal to use the proper mechanism really smacks of an attempted retaliation against the Customs Department, especially since he is being investigated for having told the department to "close one eye" over the import of restricted sawn timber that his company was handling.
The Customs Department should be investigated, just as any other government agency or individual should, if there is evidence of corruption.
But it is incumbent on those who have proof to hand it over in the interest of promoting a corruption-free culture.
What a shame it is when personalities like MPs, who should be setting an example, are incapable of acting responsibly and ethically.
and from the Star, Lodge report, MP advised; By IZATUN SHARI Friday June 30, 2006
KUALA LUMPUR: Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof, who has accused certain top Customs officials of selling seized luxury cars to their friends in the palace and government offices, should make an official report on his allegations, according to Finance Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Hilmi Yahya.
"I have never heard of such practice. I am confident that Customs officials are following procedures," Hilmi told reporters at Parliament. "But if the Jasin MP has accurate information on the alleged practice, he should lodge a report.
"The ACA will investigate. We (in the Government) are transparent."
Hilmi was commenting further on claims by Mohd Said that the officials had abused their power by selling cars meant for open auction to royal friends in return for Datukships.
Customs director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Abdul Hamid has since denied the allegations, which Mohd Said made during a parliamentary session on Wednesday.
His men handled seized cars according to stipulated procedures, Abdul Rahman said.
At Parliament, Hilmi had replied that some of the cars put up for public auction were in poor condition.
Yesterday, he said confiscated cars were disposed of through a tender process and action could be taken against officials who did not follow procedures.
He added that confiscated cars could not be sold below the reserved price fixed after the Public Works Department had assessed them. Hilmi said anyone could buy the cars, including government officials, but they had to go through the tender process.
Mohd Said said he had not received any call from the ACA following news reports of his allegations.
"I am willing to extend my cooperation if they call me."
Commenting on the issue, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said MPs should not be denied the right to speak up in Parliament on any matter, as they are covered by parliamentary privilege.
He added, however, that the Barisan Nasional would have to make a decision against any of its MPs who makes baseless allegations.
Najib, who is Barisan chief whip, said that unless Mohd Said is disqualified as an MP, for whatever reason, he has the right to speak in Parliament.
"If an MP makes an allegation and the allegation is not confirmed and baseless, it is not wrong for him legally. It's a matter for the party to decide," he said after chairing a Cabinet committee meeting on AIDS at his office here yesterday.
When pointed out that such accusations could affect the credibility of the department, Najib said a number of MPs had made allegations that were not supported by facts.
and lastly from NST: Jasin MP yet to lodge graft report against Customs; 30 Jun 2006 By V.Vasudevan
KUALA LUMPUR: Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof has not lodged an anti-corruption report against the Customs Department over an alleged improper sale of confiscated cars.
And, judging from his statement yesterday, he is not likely to.
"In my case, somebody lodged a report against me at the ACA. I am sure someone could do the same in this case," said Mohd Said, who is under investigation for asking the Customs Department to close an eye over the import of sawn timber.
He had on Wednesday claimed the Customs Department had removed luxury cars, which should have been on the auction block, and privately sold them under special deals to friends, contacts at palaces and government departments. It was to please the buyers for specific reasons or curry favour to obtain honorifics like Datukships.
"This is of public interest," he said to reporters outside Parliament yesterday.
"Public revenue has been lost. Unlike in my sawn timber case, there was no loss of revenue as the timber did not involve any tax. Government had nothing to lose in that case."
In the case of the luxury cars, he said the Government was looking at a substansial loss as a car pegged at RM200,000 was being sold at RM40,000.
Finance Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Hilmi Yahya, who was also approached by reporters outside Parliament, said Mohd Said should lodge a report if he had sufficient information or proof.
"The ACA will investigate. We (the Government) are transparent," he told reporters at Parliament lobby.
Hilmi reiterated that confiscated cars were disposed of through the tender process and action could be taken against officials who did not follow the procedures.
He said that confiscated cars could only be sold by open auction and they could not be sold below the reserved price fixed after the cars were assessed by the Public Works Department.
Hilmi said anyone could buy the cars, including government officials
"But they had to go through the tender process. The cars are offered to top government officials but they too have to go through the procedure.."
Since January, he said, 58 confiscated luxury cars worth over RM8mil had been disposed off by the Customs through the auction process.
Read today's NST story:
Jasin MP's Allegation Baseless, says Customs