Top story of the month was indeed about former Transport Minister and president of MCA (Malaysian Chinese Association) Ling Liong Sik being charged in relation to the country’s biggest scandal – PKFZ’s RM12 billion Scandal. Retired former Prime Minister Mahathir together with Ling Liong Sik and Samy Vellu (who still hold on to power in MIC) were buddies and the three musketeers were untouchable during Mahathir’s reign.
What raises millions of eyebrows was not because a former MCA president is charged for mismanagemenf of PKFZ scandal but rather how could a “Tun” be charged. The perception of the public was a recipient of “Tun”ship can never be charged because they somehow enjoy immunity from any criminal or civil charges. That was why the moment Mahathir and Ling Liong Sik retired; both were immediately “given” the Tun-ship which is roughly equivalent to “Lord” (not Lord of the Rings, mind you).
However the fact is there’re no written laws that specifically said a “Tun” cannot be arrested. It just that a “Tun” is a rare commodity so much so that at any one time there could be only 25 people allowed to receive the Seri Maharaja Mangku Negara (SMN) and another 25 people for the Seri Setia Mahkota (SSM) titles – both carries the “Tun” so the maximum of Tuns that can walk around is 50. You need to wait for any of the Tuns to die before you can re-allocate the Tun to a new recipient. Furthermore if a Sultan can be charged in court who are Tuns to enjoy such privileges?
The joke of the town: the reason why Ling Liong Sik is being charged now was because Samy Vellu needs the Tun-ship (which is running out of stock) badly before his retirement so Ling’s Tun-ship has to be rotated. Anyway the big hoo-haa about Ling’s arrest was because he is the “first” Tun to be arrested. And considering his past powerful positions, he can be considered the “big-fish” to be charged to pacify the public that the Najib’s administration is serious about combating corruption. And if you believe Ling will go behind bars then you can consider Paris Hilton is still a virgin *grin*.
Both Ling Liong Sik and Samy Vellu were considered the most obedient pets Mahathir ever had. The only time when you can read Ling and Samy questioned (mildly) Mahathir’s party (UMNO) decision was during months to the soon-to-be-called snap general election in an apparent effort to fish for ethnic-Chinese and ethnic-Indian votes. Hence to assume Ling was the sole top politicians who architect the PKFZ scandal is hilarious. Every average-Joe know that the whole cabinet members under Mahathir knew about the PKFZ project’s irregularities since Ling did not have the guts and power to go alone in such massive project, let alone in hiding it behind Mahathir’s knowledge.
But why the sudden arrest of the still-buddy of Mahathir now? The answer is pretty simple if you care to show some interests in history. Just like how previous Abdullah Badawi persuaded Kasidah Gaddam, a cabinet minister at that time, to play the role of a big fish prior to calling the snap-election; Najib’s administration is playing the same game here. Ling Liong Sik is here as the main actor (the bad-guy) while Najib is the good guy in this latest blockbuster movie “The Incorruptible Politician”
While we know the outcome of such a low-cost movie, we do not know the fees being paid for Ling Liong Sik to make a comeback from his retirement as such a heavyweight actor is a commodity as rare as Tun-ship. During his reign, Ling had tried very hard to groom his son, Ling Hee Leong, to become either a billionaire or a politician but both effort fails miserably. Ling junior managed to become billionaire (for a while) via Linksun Avenue Sdn Bhd’s acquisition of Berjaya Industrial Bhd in late 1996 with the help of Soh Chee Wen. But the timing was bad and the Asian Financial Recession erased all of Ling’s wealth.
You do not need Paul the Octopus to predict the outcome of Ling’s charges because the producer, the script-writer, the director and everyone involved in this movie would not allow such a gifted actor to be put behind bars. Furthermore the movie is still under production and you can expect the movie release date to be months or years after the coming snap-election. Here’s the spoiler: the supposedly bad-guy Ling Liong Sik is as innocent as Angelina Jolie’s “Salt” and as virgin as Paris Hilton after all.
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