Sunday, May 07, 2006

I'm the one, says Jasin MP

Here's a follow article which appeared in "The Sun" on 05 May 2006. Apparent the MP maintains that he was just doing his "job" to "speak up". Hmmph! If his job was to ask the customs authorities to "close one eye" to an apparent wrongdoing.... well job good done to you, mate.

I'm the one, says Jasin MP
by Husna Yusop

DATUK Mohd Said Yusof (BN-Jasin) admitted he was the MP cited in a newspaper report yesterday although his name was omitted in the report.

"I am the one in the story and I went to the customs office after I got a complaint from an entrepreneur from the Sungai Rambai port. The port is in my constituency," he told reporters at Parliament lobby yesterday.

Mohd Said said he had acted as an MP as well as a forwarding agent.

"I went there to ask the customs officials to be lenient. They did their job in seizing the sawn timber but I went there to seek their help in getting the timber released. I asked for the agent to be compounded and the timber released," he said.

On his April 14 meeting with the Malacca customs office, Mohd Said admitted he did ask the department to "close one eye" (tutup sebelah mata) and let the consignment go through.

"The customs was right in holding back the consignment. I only asked for it to be compounded and customs to release it. But they seized it. I do not know what happened after that," he said.

Mohd Said maintained his story at two separate media conferences at the Parliament lobby yesterday, following a motion by Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang to refer the case to the rights and privileges committee.

Asked why he had requested the customs to "close an eye", he said the case was based on technicality as although the sawn timber had exceeded the cross-section of more than 60in, "there was room for debate".

"Take into account the hole in the middle of the timber and the bark which would have been shorn off and the size would not have exceeded the 60in cross-section requirement," he said.

He also maintained that there would not have been any loss of revenue as there were no taxes or royalties due to the government.

Mohd Said said he did not have an interest in the company or the agent who brought in the timber.

"Everybody knows I am a forwarding agent and an MP. I have been in the business for 14 years. But I have no stake in the consignment which was brought in or the company which brought it in," he said.

Last week, while debating the Supplementary Supply Bill, Mohd Said had criticised the customs directorgeneral for the way he had been doing his work.

Asked if he felt the customs were retaliating for the way he had attacked its chief, Mohd Said said he did not know.

"Maybe. But that is up to them. As a wakil rakyat it is my job to speak up and I will continue to speak up," he said.

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