It was his pseudonym “Mr Toilet” that first caught my attention but Mr Kim Quek had me all ears once he started off on a topic that grabbed headlines this fortnight but is rarely spoken about in well-heeled corridors. The issue of the Attorney General’s sanitation
All men are equal but some are more equal than others. In this country of 1.3 billion, the more equal citizens are those who are called IAS officers. If a common man is caught breaking the law he can be tried and punished. For IAS officers the law is different, it seems. Even if accused of wrong doing, they can be let off the hook. All this can happen officially and within the provisions of law and the officer can be freed without standing trial. Read on to figure out how.
Last week when Pranab Mukherjee was unveiling his budget in Lok Sabha and millions of eyes were riveted on TV, there was action in the special CBI court in Hyderabad. His Lordship was pronouncing a judgement that has a far reaching impact on corruption and demonstrates how IAS babus can gang up to save their own from being even prosecuted for wrong doing. In the instant case, the special judge released from jail B P Acharya, an IAS officer of the 1983 batch who had been behind the prison wall for the last fifty days. The judge’s reason: there was no sanction from the government to prosecute Mr Acharya.
True, section 19 (1A) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) 1988 requires the nod of the Government of India (GOI) before an IAS officer is prosecuted. It also requires that the application for prosecution be routed through the state government. In the case of Mr Acharya, however his colleagues decided to do something which turned out to be a huge favor for the arrested officer. The officials of the General Administration department (GAD) who handle such applications just let this request be. Under the excuse that the CBI request for prosecution had come along with voluminous papers and that needed to be examined first, the GAD of the Government Of AP decided to sit on the application. When asked by newspersons, the head of the GAD said that the papers were “being examined” and let it be known that he could not specify a date by which this process would be complete and when the request would be forwarded to the union government.
The special judge of the CBI court, however did not ask about the details of the sanctions sought by CBI. The honorable judge said that since there was no clearance from the GOI there was no point in keeping Mr Acharya in jail. He released the IAS officer from jail on bond of Rs 50,000 and more importantly refused to take cognizance of the charge sheet filed against him. The CBI in its charge sheet- that pertains to the Emaar case – had arraigned Mr Acharya not only under two sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) but also four sections of the Indian Penal Code including section 120 B ( conspiracy), 420 ( cheating), 409 and 477-A. The case relates to a golf course, cum residential complex in Gachibowli , a post enclave of Hyderabad. The allegation is that Mr Acharya as vice chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) allowed Emaar of Dubai to bring in a partner into the venture such that the government stake in the joint venture was reduced. Further the marketing rights of the venture were transferred to a private company Emaar MGF. All this led to a huge loss run into tens of crore to the AP government.
Thus by resorting to the standard tactics of delaying files (so typical in babudom and something that babus are so adept at), the IAS lobby ensured that CBI was effectively blocked from proceeding with the prosecution of one of its own officers. Incidentally Mr B P Acharya had a road named after him in the industrial area where APIIC had joint ventures with many private parties.
Mr Acharya, was not the only officer bailed out by the IAS lobby. Another IAS officer L V Subramanyam who is also an accused in this case was similarly let off. Subramanyam , also a 1983 batch IAS officer, had however not been arrested, so it was not that he was in jail. But in his case also the CBI court refused to take cognizance of the charge sheet filed. Incidentally he had in another case also got a similar safe passage. This relates to the Volkswagen case of 2005 where a fraud was committed on the Andhra Pradesh government which paid money into the accounts of a company called Vashistha Wahan which was touted as a front for Volkswagen. The CBI wanted to charge sheet Subramanyam for this case too, but again it never got official sanction to proceed against the officer. Today the IAS officer is the chief executive officer of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD)!
Investigations in the Emaar case began after CBI was directly asked by the AP High Court to do so. This followed a PIL by a ruling party MLA who was subsequently made a minister but was later axed. The PIL came after the AP government’s own Vigilance and Enforcement Department unearthed a scam in the whole affair.
A police officer serving in the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) tells me that there are many cases not only in Andhra Pradesh but in all parts of the country, where IAS officers are not permitted by the government (read IAS officers) to be prosecuted. Not surprising, the standard practice is to sit on files relating to permission for prosecution for an indefinite period without saying either yes or no. This in effect turns out to be an emphatic no.
Grappling with this practice, the Supreme Court in a 2G scam related matter had observed in January this year that the government could take up to three or at most four months to deal with an application for permission for prosecution. If the government does not answer with either yes or no in this stipulated period, it should be assumed that it has given “deemed sanction.” Lawyers however presume that the apex court had made a mere observation and it is for the central government to amend the PCA to include this stipulation in the relevant sections of the Act.
Whether anybody would approach the apex court for a clarification or not is not known but last month that the IAS Officers’ Association of Andhra Pradesh had convened an extra ordinary general meeting of its members and had come up with a slew of demands. Among them was that IAS officers be quizzed by CBI sleuths only in their offices (and not that of the CBI) and that too in the presence of civilians who are conversant with business rules (read IAS officers). They had also demanded that the legal costs of defending the IAS officers be borne by the state government. The officers had also gone on a delegation to the chief minister. Although a strike and a pen down by the officers had been proposed by some officers, in the eventuality no such demand was made. The IAS lobby being so strong who knows ultimately these demands may be get codified as a standard practice.
It is usual for analysts to blame politicians- netas – for all the ills of the country. But to me it seems that the officers – the babus are as complicit as the netas if not more. If the IAS lobby sits on a file for prosecution for so long, it is also because the political executive is weak or fully complicit in the matter. In the instant case, it is because the political establishment in Andhra Pradesh is very weak and cannot assert its authority in running the government. But that is another story.
How would the world see Malaysia’s rule of law when its Prime Minister steadfastly refuses to take action despite overwhelming evidence of alleged criminal collusion among the country’s top three law enforcers, namely, the Attorney General, immediate past Inspector General of Police and the Anti-CorruptionAgency?
Mr Kim Quek may be Najib is afraid of what happen in JFK’s assassination
Why did the three Mafia godfathers want to assassinate JFK?
Because Robert Kennedy was waging the biggest war against organized crime that America has ever seen, and the Mafia families of Chicago, Tampa, and Louisiana were under incredible pressure. Rosselli’s boss was under “lockstep surveillance” by the FBI, and even Trafficante’s family members were being prosecuted. Marcello himself was put on trial by Robert Kennedy’s prosecutors the day before the Chicago attempt. Marcello bribed a key juror to ensure his acquittal, which Marcello timed for 11-22-63, when JFK was shot in Dallas. Marcello had a big celebration that afternoon and the only other known celebration after JFK’s death was in Tampa, were Trafficante publicly toasted JFK’s murder at the very restaurant where JFK had given a speech, just four days earlier.The Kennedys had worked hard to keep the Mafia from having a role in their coup plan, and JFK’s plans for a democratic government in Cuba after the coup would have kept the Mafia from returning to reopen their casinos there. So, the Mafia dons had to kill JFK before December 1, 1963, because only the secrecy surrounding the coup plan could prevent a thorough, public investigation that could have exposed their involvement.
Since the former Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) Director Ramli Yusuff launched the accusation of breach of law with comprehensive details against Attorney General Gani Patail and his cohorts former IGP Musa Hassan and the then ACA (now known as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission or MACC) in Ramli’s birthday dinner speech on Feb 29, pressure has been relentlessly mounting with additional evidence and additional accusers for AG Gani to be submitted to a tribunal investigation. (Under Malaysia’s constitution, the AG can only be removed from office through a tribunal, just like a judge).
When Prime Minister Najib Razak was finally confronted with the issue of a tribunal to investigate AG Gani on Mar 24, he gave a curt answer “No”, saying that this is only a claim — an allegation which has to be substantiated. He said a tribunal could only be set up if there is sufficient evidence.
Many were, of course, astounded by Najib’s claim of poor evidence, when incriminating facts had been pouring in and piling up, all pointing irresistibly to the multiple misconduct of the AG, as well as his collusion with the former IGP and ACA to illegally fix up Ramli Yusuff and his officers.
Collusion with underworld
Ramli Yusuff’s legal and judicial ordeal began in 2007 when he stepped on the toe of then IGP Musa Hassan. On orders from then Deputy Minister of Internal Security Johari Baharum, then CCID chief Ramli and his officers investigated an underworld syndicate in Johor resulting in the arrest and banishment of vice kingpin Goh Cheng Poh, also known as Tengku Goh. This arrest had angered IGP Musa, as he and Tengku Goh were pals, with Musa having helped Goh to build up his gambling empire while Musa was serving in Johor as the state’s police chief – as indicated in the evidence uncovered during investigation by Ramli’s officers.
Then, a rescue operation was put in place to extricate Goh from his banishment, with AG Gani and ACA playing key roles. Gani and Musa are allies, their partnership going back to the late nineties when both played lead roles in the infamous trial dubbed Anwar sodomy I, where Gani was the lead prosecutor and Musa the police investigating officer.
Evidence given by Ramli and sworn statements obtained by news portal Malaysiakini indicate that Gani and ACA colluded to obtain “top secret” investigation files from Ramli, through which ACA hunted down the informers that led to Tengku Goh’s arrest. These informers were then “turned over” by ACA officers so as to reverse their previous statements. These new statements were then used to secure the release of Tengku Goh from restricted residence as well as to charge Ramli’s six officers in court for allegedly “fabricating evidence” to incriminate Goh.
(These “turned over” informers subsequently made sworn statements describing how they were “turned over” by ACA, and these documents came to the possession of Malaysiakini, which then published a series of reports in its website over the past three weeks.)
Ramly himself was charged with a series of alleged offences by ACA and the AG. And even Ramli’s lawyer Rosli Dahlan was subjected to the same treatment.
Trumped up charges
That all these accusations were nothing but trumped up charges is evident from the fact that all of them were thrown out by the courts without the defence of any of the accused being called.
In the case of Ramli, the many charges against him took him through sessions court, high court and court of appeal, where he was invariably acquitted and discharged by all the nine different judges.
Significantly during these Ramli trials, Musa Hassan was declared an unreliable witness by a Session Court Judge in Sabah hearing the case of Ramli’s alleged abuse of power; while ACA was also reprimanded in the Kuala High Court, which upheld Ramli’s acquittal, for having relied solely on the word of an underground figure to charge Ramli for failing to declare his assets.
As for Ramli’s six officers who were charged and subsequently acquitted, all of them have been reinstated and promoted, for which Ramli openly thanked current IGP Ismail Omar (who graced Ramli’s birthday dinner together with other senior police officers) “for recognising that they have been victimised and for giving them back their dignity and honour”.
These trials of frivolous charges, together with incriminating evidence that includes various affidavits, are damning facts that speak for themselves. They render credence to Ramli’s accusation of Gani, Musa and ACA colluding to tamper with witnesses, fabricate evidence, circumvent police investigation and obstruct justice.
More dirt on AG
Piling the pressure on the Prime Minister to set up the tribunal is another former senior police officer, former Head of Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Mat Zain Ibrahim, who raised the issue of Anwar’s “black eye” incident where he alleged that both Gani and Musa had fabricated evidence – during Anwar’s previous ordeal in the late nineties. Upping the ante, he even warned the Prime Minister Najib Razak of his culpability to “criminal misconduct”, if he should choose to ignore or hide the evidence of fabrication of evidence over the “black eye” incident that he had briefed and passed on to Najib on 19 Feb 2009.
Mat Zain should have intimate knowledge of the facts surrounding the “black eye” incident, as he was then the officer investigating the case that led to a royal commission of inquiry and the eventual conviction of then IGP Abdul Rahim Noor for grievously beating Anwar Ibrahim up.
Mat Zain brushed aside an earlier ACA investigation that exonerated Gani and Musa of the “fabricating” allegation as a “whitewash”, explaining in details why he thought so.
He said he would give “no holds barred” evidence in a tribunal that would conclusively nail Gani and Musa, who Mat Zain said “have no defence”.
On the issue of “black eye” incident, Ramli Yusuff also said he is prepared to give evidence on this issue as well as on the alleged collusion between Gani and former MAS chairman Tajudin Ramli if there is a tribunal on Gani, since he was personally involved in both cases while he was in the police force.
Pall of fear in police force
Apart from Ramli and Mat Zain, several serving police officers have approached Malaysiakini, volunteering to give evidence of misconduct by Gani and Musa, and stressing that their testimonies will go beyond the duo’s alleged collusion with the underworld kingpin. There is one proviso though, that is, a tribunal must be set up.
The rationale of their proviso is simple. They are fearful of vindictive reprisal from the all powerful attorney general who exclusively has the discretional power to charge or not to charge any individual. These officers explain that despite a change of IGP, the pall of fear of a wayward AG still hangs over the police force, adversely affecting their conscientious discharge of duty.
There is no doubt that the continuance of service of such a scandal ridden AG who alone wields the power of prosecution in this country is an unacceptable scourge to the nation. No prime minister should tolerate such a calamitous and shameful status quo, especially one who prides himself as the “transformational” prime minister. And he alone can remedy the situation by ordering a tribunal.
The ball is now at the Prime Minister’s foot.
Deep Throat Bukit Aman
In 2007, Malaysia Today ran a series of articles that started with ‘All Roads Lead to Putrajaya’ that revealed how the crime syndicates were in the midst of a massive nationwide reorganisation. But it was not the Chinese triad leaders or the Chinese underworld gangsters who were embarking on this reorganisation effort. Malaysia Today revealed that the move was being engineered by the former IGP Musa Hassan and that shady character named BK Tan.
Malaysia Today revealed the corporatisation plan to place all the illegal loan sharking or Along syndicates under BK Tan’s national scheme to legalise them as licensed money lending companies. Musa Hassan and AG Gani Patail used the MACC to release that criminal Goh Cheng Poh @ Tengku Goh by making the MACC arrest six rank and file policemen and charge them for fabricating evidence against Musa Hassan.
They were afraid that Tengku Goh would spill the beans on them, which in fact Goh was already doing when he mentioned his relationship with Musa Hassan in affidavits that he filed.
Malaysia Today also ran the series of Statutory Declarations (SDs) by numerous policemen including Musa Hassan’s own ADC, ASP Azizul, who accused his boss and BK Tan of fixing the PDRM ’s hierarchy very much in the same fashion that VK Linggam fixed the appointments in the Judiciary.
Malaysia Today then posted a series called ‘The Untold MAS Story Parts 1 to 10’ which detailed how Tajudin Ramli plundered Malaysia Airlines and how AG Gani Patail in collusion with rogue elements in the Police covered up for Tajudin. Malaysia Today also revealed that the reason why former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took no action despite being briefed by the MAS Board and Dato’ Ramli Yusuff, then Director CCID, was because Abdullah’s family was also fleecing MAS to the bones.
That was also why Abdullah Badawi extended Musa Hassan’s contract for two years at one go despite the mounting crime rate then.
Recently, KL CID Chief Dato Mat Zain bin Ibrahim posted two open letters that were addressed to IGP Tan Sri Ismail Omar. In his ‘SURAT TERBUKA KEDUA’, Mat Zain made further specific and damaging accusations against Musa Hassan and Gani Patail in more scathing language and alleged that these two scumbags had even manipulated evidence during the Royal Commission Inquiry in the ‘Anwar Black Eye Incident’.
Mat Zain’s sarcastic tirade included a reference to AG Gani Patail’s fraud in the Pedra Branca case, which resulted in Singapore winning the case before the International Court of Justice. He did not mince his words in accusing AG Gani Patail of fabrication and single-handedly destroying the criminal justice system of the country:
“Bayangkanlah apa yang boleh enam puloh lima (65) muka surat dokumen yang dipalsukan atas arahan Peguam Negara-Peguam Negara, boleh lakukan terhadap Sistem Keadilan Jenayah kita.”
Mat Zain also accused AG Gani Patail of trying to suborn him, which led to their head-on collision:
“…yang menyebabkan pertembungan “head-on” antara Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail (TSGP) dengan saya.”
In the face of these accusations by Mat Zain, AG Gani Patail and Musa Hassan have been extremely quiet. If Mat Zain is lying, then Gani Patail could easily have charged him for criminal defamation under s. 499 of the Penal Code.
That was the charge that Gani Patail filed against Raja Petra Kamarudin who had accused the Prime Minister’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, of being present when that Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu, was blown up to bits with army issued C4 plastic explosives at Bukit Cahaya.
A-G Gani Patail’s silence is deafening. This silence could only mean acquiescence and admission.
Malaysia Today then made the expose about AG Gani Patail’s relationship with Tajudin Ramli and his proxy, Shahidan Shafie. This series of exposes included Tabung Haji documents and pictures of Gani Patail’s family and Shahidan being booked as a family for the Haj pilgrimage, including sharing rooms.
Again, Gani Patail chose to remain silent.
Against this backdrop, enter Tan Sri Robert Phang, the MACC’s Panel of Adviser, who demanded that AG Gani Patail explain his conduct. Only a few days ago Phang issued a scathing press statement singling AG Gani Patail as the main stumbling block that the MACC and Government face in creating the right perception about their seriousness in eradicating corruption.
The point of this all is, why is the MACC doing nothing? Perhaps, Mat Zain is conscious of the fact that the MACC would not dare make any move against AG Gani Patail. Perhaps, that is why Mat Zain has written to the new IGP Ismail Omar, hoping that Ismail, who is yet untainted, would do something.
He is banking on Ismail to show his true mettle as the IGP.
So far, Ismail Omar has a clean reputation. Musa Hassan wanted someone docile as his Deputy IGP, someone whom he could easily dominate, someone whom Musa did not actually intend would succeed him as IGP. That was why Musa chose Ismail Omar whom Musa considered as docile, inhibitive and compliant – qualities that Musa later capitalised on as justification why Ismail Omar was not ready to succeed him as IGP.
Fortunately, the Home Minister saw through Musa Hassan’s ruse and he put the IGP to pasture in a most unceremonious way. That was probably the best thing that Hishammuddin Hussein has ever done thus far as Home Minister.
Ismail Omar is now the IGP. In his hands are all the wide powers under the Police Act, the Criminal Procedure Code and all the Emergency Laws that he can easily invoke to order a probe on Musa Hassan and A-G Gani Patail. Will Ismail Omar rise to the occasion or will he be just another disappointment?
Ismail should realise that this is his big break. This is his opportunity to get out of the shadow of Musa Hassan. This is his chance to restore the Polis DiRaja Malaysia to its old glory.
So, Ismail, will you accept this challenge?
As a caution to Ismail, let me remind him that the alternative media has been very patient with him. They are giving him space to breathe and to settle down. But enough time has passed and too much exposes have been made about the crimes of Musa Hassan and A-G Gani Patail.
If Ismail does not want to act based on the disclosures made by Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) because RPK was a fugitive, that is not the case anymore. The charges against RPK have all been dismissed (DNAA). RPK is no longer a fugitive. He is simply in self-exile.
We can still forgive Ismail Omar if he doesn’t want to believe ‘fugitive’ RPK. But we cannot forgive him if he fails to act after the two ‘SURAT TERBUKA’ from Dato’ Mat Zain Ibrahim. We cannot forgive him after the MACC Adviser, Tan Sri Robert Phang, had twice publicly chided A-G Gani Patail. We cannot forgive him if he remains docile, inhibitive and compliant or if he shows impotence in discharging his duties as IGP. We cannot forgive him if he tries to sweep all these under the carpet by remaining silent.
Ismail Omar must not forget that even Pak Lah was not spared by his elegant silence to the mounting criticisms against his administration. In the end, Pak Lah was swept out of office.
If Ismail Omar does not act swiftly as is expected of him then he must be prepared to be attacked just as severely, if not more severely, than his predecessor, that scumbag Musa Hassan. Ismail had better act fast and firm. Otherwise, he will be swept away by the Tsunami of the public’s anger.
Ismail, it is time for you to act now!