Wanted – White Paper on “All-Clean Verdict” for Musa, Zulkipli and Johari

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should present a White Paper giving a full report exonerating the Deputy Internal Security Minister, Datuk Seri Johari Baharum, the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and former Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general Datuk Seri Zulkipli Mat Noor as the first step of the government’s national integrity policy of “zero tolerance for corruption”.

Although Abdullah expressed relief on Saturday that both Musa and Zulkipli had been cleared of corruption by the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, he also made two remarks which were not in keeping with his pledge to lead a clean, incorruptible, open, accountable and transparent administration, viz:

  • That these corruption allegations should no longer be debated following the closure of investigations by the Attorney-General;
  • His retort when pressed for details of the investigation reports: “Don’t ask me about the contents of the investigations. That is not my job.”

As Prime Minister, Abdullah should realize that the final responsibility of a clean and incorruptible administration rests with him and not with the Attorney-General, and he has the duty and responsibility to satisfy himself about the integrity and incorruptibility of Musa and Zulkipli in view of the critically important posts they were entrusted with.

Gani has ordered the ACA to close their investigations into Musa and Zulkipli. Was this at Gani’s own behest or was it on the directive of the Prime Minister, who would have been informed beforehand that the Attorney-General would be publicly clearing Musa and Zulkipli of corruption.

If the latter why, and if the former, has Abdullah asked the Attorney-General why he had abused his powers in issuing such an order.

As Attorney-General, Gani has the absolute discretionary power “to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, other than proceedings before a Syariah Court, a native court or a court-martial”.

Where does Gani derive the power to order the ACA to stop corruption investigations?

The Attorney-General is vested by the constitution with the discretionary power to decide that based on existing corruption investigations, there is no or insufficient evidence for him to institute criminal proceedings against Musa and Zulkipli but how could he direct the ACA to close their investigations and disregard any relevant evidence subsequently uncovered?

This presupposes that the investigations into Musa and Zulkipli had been thorough, professional and comprehensive.

Whistleblower and former Sabah ACA director Ramli Abdul Manan, who had lodged the corruption reports against Zulkipli, had made a most pertinent criticism when he described the Attorney-General of acting more like Zulkipli’s defence counsel than a public prosecutor and asked why the Attorney-General had not invoked Section 32 of the Anti-Corruption Act 1997 to demand information about the assets of Zulkipli and his next of kin.

Ramli also made the very important point that he was not recalled to counter check on the information on the assets of Zulkipli.

Ramli had earlier said Gani should not make the decision about investigations into Zulkipli as “they had been close friends while serving in Sabah”. Was this why Gani also dismissed the 25 allegations of corruption against the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman, made by Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, one of which implicated Zulkipli?

Did Gani as Public Prosecutor invoke Section 32 of the Anti-Corruption Act 1997 to investigate into the assets of Musa and his next of kin? If not, how can Gani satisfy himself that there had been a full and professional probe?

Furthermore, what is the outcome of investigations on the corruption allegations implicating Musa and top police officers with organised crime?

The announcement of “All-Clean Verdict” (New Straits Times front-page headline) for Musa and Zulkipli since Friday should have given a great boost to the image of integrity and incorruptibility not only of the police force, the ACA but the entire administration.

Unfortunately, the reverse has taken place, with more questions asked whether there is a “cover up” because of the lack of transparency about the corruption investigations.

This is why Abdullah should present a White Paper giving a full report on the exoneration not only on Musa and Zulkipli, but also Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Seri Johari Baharum who had been investigated in connection with RM5.5 million allegations, to convince Malaysians that these three investigations were fully independent, credible and professional and should be accepted as evidence of the administration’s commitment to a zero tolerance for corruption and not the reverse.

  1. #1 by glokaltower on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 1:04 pm

    Pak Lah once said himself, he knew who are corrupting, but if he catch them all, it will be 50% and who is going to work for him? His clean image is not going to win him any more votes, so he try super mega projects. It is the tax payers who are going to pick up the bills at the end.

  2. #2 by silhouette on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 1:05 pm

    YB Lim Kit Siang,
    The election manisfistoes to fight corruption was only an election gimmick. He will do selective persecution just to prove that he is doing it. But look who got it, they are all his political foes from within the party.
    Dont expect him to heed your criy for a white paper to be presented because he is not keen to do it lest his earlier decisions made via the likes of Gani Patail will look bad. Nevertheless you must not relent in your quest for justice. They must be made to feel the heat of their actions or inaction. Keep up the good work. One day we will see the light of truth.

  3. #3 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 1:16 pm

    It’s one thing for the BN Administration to say they are clean. (That may well be akin to the skunk saying they don’t stink!) It’s quite another thing for the public to know (not merely perceive) that the government of the day is CLEAN. The BN Administration is an abject failure on this score.

    The test of the pudding is not in the chef saying his fare is scrumptious. The test is in the public dipping it’s fingers in the pudding.

    Now, there is much to be said in the way of the pudding test. Read on:

    We want full public disclosure, TI tells AG
    Aug 1, 07 1:03pm (Malaysiakini )

    An anti-corruption watchdog has today demanded full public disclosure of the basis for the government’s dismissal of corruption allegations against former Anti-Corruption Agency director-general Zulkipli Mat Noor and police chief Musa Hassan.

    “Transparency International Malaysia believes that the public would like to see the full report of the investigations and basis for the decisions made on all these allegations,” said the organisation’s president, Ramon V Navaratnam.

    It’s time again to put BN to the pudding test. Hitherto, as all and sundry would readily agree, BN has failed all measures of litmus tests. Do we wonder why there seems to be a sense of despondency over the BN’s administration in just about everything. Even patriotic feelings have taken a dip as the people do not like their hands to be forced to rise in hypocritical demonstration of patriotism – as if only the scum of a BN is patriotic! Read on:

    BERNAMA: “Golden Merdeka Bash, But Where Is The Jalur Gemilang?
    By Soraya Jamal and Nurul Halawati Azhari

    “It is less than a month to the big day on Aug 31, but the Jalur Gemilang national flags are conspicuously missing from many of the city’s buildings.

    …A recent Bernama check in the city revealed that the celebration of the country’s 50th anniversary, which began with a marked impetus early of the year, had strangely “mellowed”.

    No reward for second guessing. The people are just plain sick of BN’s ostentatious hypocrisy, oozing a sham religiosity and bloody brigandry, two brackish streams that converge on Putrajaya.

  4. #4 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 1:35 pm

    Why don’t we believe in the government anymore?

    Why can’t we trust the government anymore?

    Why don’t we “feel good” anymore?

  5. #5 by i_love_malaysia on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 1:36 pm

    Yes, AAB will give a white paper i.e. paper without any thing written on it!! you have to take what ever he said!!

  6. #6 by Jonny on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 1:37 pm

    No reward for second guessing. The people are just plain sick of BN’s ostentatious hypocrisy, oozing a sham religiosity and bloody brigandry, two brackish streams that converge on Putrajaya.

    This I agree with you. CONSPICUOUSLY MISSING. We’re fed-up with the monkey antics of all BN components.

    So, I won’t be surprised at Stadium Merdeka, a lot of Indonesians are present there. And they’re the ones holding Malaysian flags.

    The rest of us, business unusual. (Lots of wealth is siphoned into hands of a handful well connected and into the Ali Baba’s treasure cave).

    With rising living costs. And the pressure on oil price – another round of imminent increase in costs of living is coming. Most likelihood after General Election. After all the feel good factor maybe.

  7. #7 by smeagroo on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 1:58 pm

    Malaysian crooks are the smartest in the world. And Malaysian policing authorities are the dumbest.

  8. #8 by devilmaster on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 2:00 pm

    “Don’t ask me about the contents of the investigations. That is not my job.”

    A newer version of “saya tak tau”.

  9. #9 by KL Dude on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 2:24 pm

    Corruption cases will never be solved fairly if the ‘party’ doing the investigation comes from the ‘same body’ or is under the influence of the party’s higher authority.

    Unless the ACA is fully independent from any government entity or person in authority, then it will be a body to be reckoned with. However, in Bolehland anything is possible so its not surprising to see many big ‘fishes’ get away scot free. So far none of them seem to have been charged in court except for those ‘small fishes’.

    See the Malay Mail today where it was reported a restaurant manager was jailed for 10 years… not for any serious crime but for cheating for a mere RM1,700.

    Yes agree that cheating is a crime and the man deserved his punishment but at the same time how about corruption committed by the ‘big fishes’ involving millions of Ringgit using tax payers money but no action taken. That is also cheating in a way.

  10. #10 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 2:31 pm

    The constitutional role of the Attorney General is, of course, only to initiate, conduct or discontinue on behalf of the State proceedings for an offence based on investigations conducted by law enforcement agencies like the police, ACA and Internal Security Department.

    The AG’s office is not supposed to conduct investigations itself.

    That it has done so is because of the unique combination of circumstances (making Malaysia a laughing stock) that allegations have surfaced against the heads of ACA, police and Internal Security Department (Zulkipli, Musa and Johari) and each of their departments is obviously so compromised by these allegations and counter allegations that neither could investigate itself or the other….The AG department itself is getting into problems. There are swirling rumours of “problems” and resignations in the A-G’s Chambers. According to NST report 2/8/07 – there were disappointment with the way the Altantuya case was handled. See the link : http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Thursday/Frontpage/20070802073913/Article/index_html

    Don’t tell me we’re going to have a white paper on the AG Department also?

    I think the PM is having a severe headache. If the administration is reeking with corruption at all levels, and every one is tainted one way or another, differing in degrees only, then any electoral pledge to immediately end it, if seriously honoured and enforced, will only tear such an administration at its seams and cause a systemic collapse. The only way to do it (for a corrupt administration) is to piecemeal retire and replace the corrupt bureaucrats by new and clean ones. I hear that even Lee Kuan Yew dared not immediately sack all esp law enforcement chiefs but retired them off when their contracts were up for renewals.

    Here one can’t really prosecute because then you’ll have to literally prosecute everyone and everyone has something to hold on the other which threatens exposure and collective and mutual suicide if indeed promises to fight corruption were matched by drastic and strong immediate actions.

    You can prosecute may be one or two top officials one at a time but one cannot do so all at the same time in relation to large swathes of top echelons of public service or for that matter an entire bunch of top honchos of every conceivable law enforcement agency who are supposed to be gatekeepers and praetorian guards against crime and corruption.

    If tough action is required, it would be easier to resign the entire government, which they won’t do…..

    I guess the PM is just buying time and this rigmarole of getting the AG to clear everybody is a ‘sendiri shiok’ gesture about which not much more for the moment could be done.

    It does not require the infinite prescience of prophet Isaiah to realise that when dealing with a society/culture enmeshed in corruption, and of which corruption has been taking roots as a culture in the last 30 years, to end such a disease – without causing systemic convulsion and collapse will take time!

    But admitedly time is what the person who made the pledge against corruption does not have when he discovers he has raised high expectations that he cannot possibly gratify and that such frustrated expectations will backlash against him.

  11. #11 by Cinapek on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 3:42 pm

    Surely the AG’s explanations in the media for clearing the IGP has raised more questions than answers. For example he had said that the IGP ordered an investigation after he “was informed” that there was a case of victimisation in the arrest of three known gang leaders in Kluang , Johor. Firstly, who informed him and why would the informant know the IGP would take a personal interest in this case – a case involving three known gangsters? During the Commission hearings of police abuses of power, such type of cases are not uncommon. So of all such cases why get involved only with this case which involves three known gangsters?

    The other question troubling me is why asked a very senior officer from Bukit Aman to carry out the investigation? Why not ask the CPO Johor to do this? Why ask a very senior officer to investigate a victimisation case of three gangsters? Don’t get me wrong. The three gangsters are entitled to their rights and if they are abused, they should be released. But I am sure there must b other more pressing issues that takes priority than worry about three gangsters being “victimised”. It seems someone is very concerned that this three gangsters are not victimised. Hmmmm?!

    And I could not help chuckling at the very infantile explanation about ACA having checked their bank accounts and found nothing suspicious. Hey, even the most inexperienced police officer would know the first place anyone would look is the bank accounts. What more senior officers with massive experience with corruption and bribery cases and has just about seen every trick in the book on how to hide the trail of money.

  12. #12 by Godfather on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 3:52 pm

    Can we please spare some trees by NOT calling for white papers ? It is worth as much as the toilet paper I use.

  13. #13 by ahkok1982 on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 4:35 pm

    if you want to get the investigation reports out to public, might as well ask them to simultaneously present the malay equity statistical findings and also the highway concession contracts at the same time. those have been promised for quite a long time right?

  14. #14 by manutd79 on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 5:45 pm

    Mega Projects? Maybe the warlords are all asking to be fed since they have not had enough for the past few years under Pak Lah.

  15. #15 by shortie kiasu on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 9:07 pm

    Correct, White Paper will serve nothing, reveal nothing more than what AG had revealed that none is guilty, instead save the trees that would have to be cut for the manufacture of those papers.

    History is the testomony to this.

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