DAP rep Chong Zhemin accuses banks of conspiring in MAPS scandal

DAP's Chong Zhemin urged MACC to investigate all parties who are directly and indirectly involved in the MAPS scandal. — Picture by Farhan Najib
DAP's Chong Zhemin urged MACC to investigate all parties who are directly and indirectly involved in the MAPS scandal. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, October 5 — Perak state lawmaker Chong Zhemin today accused banks of conspiring in the Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) scandal despite being well aware of the corruption and mismanagement involved in the scandal since 2015. 

The DAP’s Keranji assemblyman said that new evidence in the form of court documents suggests that banks decided to drawdown the remaining loan of RM280 million despite knowledge of the potential fraud and scandal where the Syndicated Term Loan (STL) was not wholly and exclusively used in the construction of MAPS.

“The banks should have acted on this information and knowledge and stop the remaining drawdown of the STL. 

“However, the bank took the easy way out to continue releasing the balance of STL despite knowledge of leakages and fraud in the construction of MAPS,” he said in a statement. 

Stressing that MAPS was a state government project, Chong said the banks should have the social responsibility to whistle blow to stop the scandal. 

“They should not just focus on the profit earn from the interest and protect their own interest only. 

“The court documents are alleging that the MAPS financial leakages and corrupt practices were already well known by the banks, Perak Corporation Berhad (PCB) administration and also the state administration as early as 2015. 

“However no action has been taken to stop the MAPS scandal from getting bigger,” he said. 

Chong also urged the banks to own up to their duty and come clean on their involvement with MAPS. 

He also urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate all parties who are directly and indirectly involved in the MAPS scandal.

Separately, Chong, the former director and chairman of audit committee for PCB, said that accusation by Parti Putra Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) vice-president Datuk Hamidah Osman that Pakatan Harapan (PH) did not voice out on the MAPS scandal when they were in power is not true. 

“I (previously) have directed an internal investigation on the MAPS scandal. A special internal audit report on MAPS has been completed and also published to the public in the form of public announcement on Bursa Website. 

“I have also moved a motion to debate the special internal audit report on MAPS in the state assembly, however, the motion was retracted on the promise by Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu that help to MAPS was on the way,” he said. 

“The promise by Ahmad Faizal went unfulfilled and MAPS is currently in the process of auction. It is tragic that MAPS, which was dubbed as the mover for the tourism industry in Perak, has to be closed down and all employees retrenched despite numerous promises by the Mentri Besar,” he added. 

Last month, Hamidah when revealing that PCB in the midst of winding up its operations via a press conference at the party headquarters in Tambun here slammed PH coalition parties for not voicing out or highlighting the issue when they were in power.

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