Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang said this is "the latest instance of more and more adverse international reports about corruption in Malaysia, including the adverse rankings given to the country by the corruption surveys of the Transparency International and the Political and Economic Risks Consultancy (PERC)".
"These warrant urgent action by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to salvage his reform agenda and pledge, particularly to make anti-corruption campaign the top priority of his administration," he said in a statement today.
Lim has written an urgent letter asking Abdullah to personally reply in Parliament on Monday (April 9) in the winding-up on the Royal Address debates on high-profile corruption allegations under his administration.
In the letter, he had drawn the attention of the Prime Minister to the Japan Times report dated March 29, 2007, available at search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20070329a5.html
According to the report, quoting sources, nine Japanese shipping companies which transport lumber from Sarawak have allegedly failed to report some 1.1 billion yen of income in total during a period of up to seven years through last March.
It was alleged that the money constituted kickbacks to Sarawak officials via a Hongkong agent which was connected to Taib and his family.
Lim said he had reminded Abdullah of his pledge when he became Prime Minister in 2003 to make anti-corruption his top agenda, his proclamation of "zero tolerance for corruption" and his declaration to "walk the talk" after his first 100 days in service.
"Malaysia is today faced with the worst crisis of national integrity in the 40-year history of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) and 50-year history of the nation with a spate of serious corruption allegations reaching the highest levels of government," he added.
The allegations included questions about integrity affecting Abdullah and his family; integrity involving Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak in defecse contracts such as those concerning the Sukhoi jets from Russia and submarines from France; and the serious allegations againts former ACA director-general Datuk Seri Zulkipli Mat Noor and Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum.
"I urge the Prime Minister to come personally to Parliament on Monday not only to respond to the various allegations but to give satisfactory assurance to the Parliament and the nation that he had not abandoned his anti-corruption pledge and agenda," Lim stressed.