AdenanSatem’s anti-corruption crusade has now turned into Income-Tax Collection ATM machine for Najib’s Government.

AdenanSatem’s anti-corruption crusade has now turned into Income-Tax Collection ATM machine for Najib’s Government.
In May,2015, the MACC, working together withAdenanSatem on the latter’s anti-illegal logging campaign, froze the bank accounts of more than 500 Sarawak companies and individuals. At that material time, the MACC’s deputy Commissioner claimed that the MACC will complete the investigation within 2 months. The Deputy Commissioner admitted that if the freeze is more than 2 months, it will hurt the economy of Sarawak.
After 2 months, many of the accounts still remain frozen despite MACC finding no evidence to prosecute many of these companies or individual in Court.
Instead of having their accounts un-frozen, their files are now passed to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) for another type of investigation while their accounts remain frozen.
These companies are now told by the IRD officers that their accounts will remain frozen for as long as the IRD is doing its investigation, which may take up to one or two years. Alternatively, these companies may choose to settle some figures that the IRD will quote in order that the freeze on their accounts may be lifted sooner.
This is daylight robbery and outright ransom. It is also an abuse of power.
Has the national coffer become so dry and is the Government in such dire need for money that the IRD is now resorting to such underhand and oppressivetactic in its attempt to get quick money for the Government? Is the Government Treasury running low in cash to pay for the debt of 1MDB that the IRD has to do this?
These federal government agencies are now working hand-in-hand to squeeze more money from the local businesses to fill the bottomless pit of the national debt.
As a result, businesses suffer, jobs lost, workers retrenched, economic activities slow down and every Sarawakian suffers.
This blanket freeze of accounts, coupled with the implementation of GST and the sharp drop of Ringgit are taking its toll on the Sarawak economy. The effect will exacerbate unless the State Government does something to un-freeze the accounts.
What seems and sounds noble (fight corruption and illegal logging) initially has now degraded and turned ugly and oppressive (using the freeze to hold businesses to ransom).
Is this “MACC to IRD” episode done with the consent of AdenanSatem? Or is AdenanSatem totally powerless to stop this oppression of Sarawak companies by the Federal agencies?
As the number of Sarawak Members of Parliament holds the key to the BN’s government at Federal level, it is unlikely that Adenan is powerless to stop such oppression of Sarawak companies by these Federal Agencies, unless Adenan is tacitly consenting to such oppression.
Adenan must state his position: whether he is condoning the “MACC to IRD” and the use of the account-freezing tactic to force Sarawak businesses to pay more income tax and company tax than they have already done.
Adenan cannot hide behind his Mr. Righteous image while allowing such oppression to take place under his very nose, undermining the Sarawak economy.
If Adenan does not consent to such oppression of Sarawak businesses, and yet the IRD persists in doing so, it is time that Adenan, in the interest of Sarawakians, announce Sarawak BN quitting Federal BN. Otherwise, his whole anti-corruption crusade will be implicated and seen as part of a plot for make the targeted companies the ATM machine for Najib’s government.

Chong Chieng Jen
Member of Parliament for Bandar Kuching
ADUN for Kota Sentosa