Monday, October 09, 2006

AP (APPROVED PERMITS) FIASCO

The latest fiasco concerns the cloning of APs or Approved Permits for the import of foreign vehicles. Although this activity had been widely known among the motor trade industry, the authorities have just suspected the issuance of cloned AP documents to import foreign luxury vehicles or were involved in the racket or did not totally focus on this issue(as usual, tidak apa attitude) since the culprits were high-ranking Barisan Nasional politicians. APs are usually issued to Barisan Nasional politicians and supporters, more so especially to UMNO politicians. APs are a immediate ticket to fast cash, and each AP could fetch up to RM20,000 to RM50,000 depending on the market situation. Many controversies had been exposed as regards to the issuance of APs, even some time ago former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had criticised the AP issue when he had a tiff with Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz on the issue which let to the publication of a list of recipients of APs granted by her ministry. Tun Dr Mahathir had expressed his concerns since it was a set-back that had affected the poor sales of the proton cars which affected the overall performance of national car manufacturer, Proton. But this current issue is not about issuance of APs but the CLONING of APs which is a criminal offence.

It has been widely reported in the media today that the person responsible for the cloning is a Senator (Ahli Dewan Negara) and due to this, his name had been withheld although most people could speculate the person involved. As expected this politician must be from the ruling government, Barisan Nasional. It has been further reported that almost 1,000 cloned AP's have surfaced but industry sources predict very much higher figures. Taking this into account, one can imagine how much these culprits would have earned, MILLIONS without nothing but with a mere paper(fake document). Just because he was a recipient of AP's and being a BN politician. Previously, students studying overseas were entitled to a single AP but since the exposing of some racket involved, this issuance had been stopped by the government. But the surprising part is how the relevant departments were unable to detect these fake APs, unless they too were involved in the racket. Even the Auditor-General's Office or Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had not detected this fiasco. Many government departments are involved in the implementation of the APs and it is surprising how this matter was not detected much earlier by any one of the government departments concerned. If there was proper 'check and balance' by the relevant government departments, this matter would have been detected much earlier and this culprit or maybe more culprits would have been charged for the criminal act.

This Senator has now claimed as reported in the NST today that he was ignorant about his company's activities as the day-to-day running was handle by his son. It is reported that the Senator's company is given 500 AP's annually by the government. The Customs have identified that the AP's have been faked five times. It was reported that since the culprit is a VIP, they need to await the advice of the AG Chambers before prosecution. What a double-standard, this is. Criminals in top places treated differently. The Laws of Bolehland are for every citizen to obey and be treated equally.

This incident maybe the tip of the iceberg. There must be many other similar situations on other matters that may have been cloned or faked but still unaware by the relevant authorities. Its time our government conduct an investigation and find out if the system had been abused. A total revamp of the auditing procedure of the government departments and agencies need to be carried out immediately to flush our criminals like this.

The rakyat hopes that this culprit or culprits are severely punished for the criminal acts and not to be 'swept under the carpet' or covered-up due to their political connections.

Will this happen?

Note: LATEST
The Senator purportly involved is Datuk Muhammad Abdul Ghani from Kota Bahru, Kelantan. He has a successful business in the dealership of motor vehicles. He is the only Senator given AP's by the government annually. He has denied the above allegations and has made a police report yesterday against the NST and another two dailies belonging to NST group.