I endorse the call by the former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief, Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohaamed, that Malaysians must stand united against corruption, regardless of their political ideologies.
Speaking at a congregation at Masjid Al-Ikhlas in Shah Alam yesterday, Abu Kassim said that if corruption is used as the basis of politics, it will be difficult to resolve social issues.
More than anyone, Abu Kassim should know what he was talking about.
Abu Kassim became MACC Chief Commissioner on 1st January 2010 following the prolonged firestorm in a clear case of MACC political persecution resulting in the death of DAP aide Teoh Beng Hock, falling from the 13th floor of the MACC premises in Shah Alam on 16th July 2009, in a MACC investigation over allegations about impropriety in a RM2,400 purchase of flags for Merdeka Day celebrations by DAP State Executive Councillor, Ean Yong Hian Wah.
A Royal Commission of Inquiry in July 2011 found that Beng Hock had been “driven to commit suicide” due to interrogation by three MACC officers in a manner that was “aggressive, relentless, oppressive and unscrupulous” – which was nothing but a euphemism for murder.
To his credit, Abu Kassim tried his utmost as MACC Chief Commissioner to restore the professionalism and credibility of the MACC in his seven-and-a-half years as head of the anti-corruption agency, but he failed as the murderers of Teoh Beng Hock had yet to be brought to justice.
But there were other weightier reasons for Abu Kassim’s failure.
Abu Kassim’s service contract as MACC chief commissioner, which was not to end until Dec. 4, 2018, was cut short and he “opted” for an early retirement as a result of a greater and more prolonged firestorm over the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal and renewed attempt to make MACC a political tool of the powers-that-be against political opponents – even trying to create a second “Teoh Beng Hock”.
Abu Kassim yesterday drew parallels to how Malaysians came together to combat the communists.
“I remember during the time of (former prime minister) Abdul Razak Hussein when he outlined the dangers of three ‘Cs’ after independence.
“They were communists, communalism and corruption. Why people could unite at that time and speak of the evil of communism, but not against corruption?”
The Save Democracy Roundtable next Tuesday to save Malaysia from a global kleptocracy and a failed and a rogue state is probably the last chance for all political leaders regardless of party affiliation and political ideologies to stand united against corruption.
Almost everybody is saying that it is impossible that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak will attend the Save Malaysia Roundtable.
I agree that it appears to be quite inconceivable that Najib would attend the Save Malaysia Roundtable to save Malaysia from global kleptocracy and a failed and rogue state, as it would involve Najib’s preparedness – not seen up to now – to open up the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal to national and international scrutiny to prove that it is not a scandal at all, although the 1MDB scandal is making international waves and world headlines almost every other day.
The issue is whether Najib and his Cabinet are prepared to start the process to free Malaysia from the millstone of global kleptocracy, or whether they will go down in history as being responsible for Malaysia’s millstone of global kleptocracy and not prepared to do anything to remove such a millstone.
History will be the witness whether the last chance for all political leaders to stand united against corruption, regardless of their party affiliation and political ideologies, will succeed or fail.