With Shukri leading the MACC, I am shocked that Ramkarpal is shocked that the MACC is shocked regarding LGE’s acquittal

TTF: I am shocked that Ramkarpal is shocked that the MACC is shocked regarding LGE’s acquittal.

Following is the chronology of events that led to Lim Guan Eng’s arrest and his subsequent appearance at the Penang High Court: 

17th of March 2016

Tasek Gelugor Member of Parliament, Dato’ Shabudin Yahaya, during a Dewan Rakyat sitting, urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the purchase of a bungalow at Jalan Pinhorn by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for RM2.8 million, deemed to be below market price.

18th of March 2016

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng claimed that the purchase of the house in Jalan Pinhorn for RM2.8 million was made on a willing-buyer, willing-seller basis with its owner Phang Li Koon, without coercion from any party.

18th of March 2016

MACC began receiving reports on Lim’s purchase of a bungalow below market price from various quarters, including political parties and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

19th of March 2016

Lim urged the MACC to expedite investigations into the purchase of his house in Jalan Pinhorn.

20th of March 2016

Lim invited the media to visit his bungalow in Jalan Pinhorn.

22nd March 2016

Phang Li Koon made a statutory declaration saying she sold the bungalow on a willing-buyer, willing-seller basis, which was agreed upon on June 23, 2014.

23rd March 2016

MACC received eight complaints from various parties on the the purchase of the bungalow by the chief minister.

1st April 2016

Phang gave a statement to the police regarding the purchase of the bungalow by the chief minister at the Northeast District Police Headquarters.

2nd April 2016

Police complete investigation papers regarding Phang’s statutory declaration which allegedly contained false information.

17th April 2016

MACC advised all parties not to issue any statement regarding the issue of Lim’s bungalow.

6th May 2016

Lim and his wife Betty Chew, Phang and the Kuala Lumpur International Dental Centre (KLIDC) owner Datuk Tang Yong Chew recorded their statements with the MACC.

7th May 2016

Lim was once again present at the Penang MACC office to record his statement pertaining the purchase of the bungalow.

22nd May 2016

MACC officers went to Lim’s house to take further statements regarding the purchase of the property.

25th May 2016

The investigation papers against Lim Guan Eng were submitted to the attorney-general.

6th June 2016

The investigation papers regarding the purchase of the bungalow by Lim were returned to the MACC for further probing.

29th June 2016

Lim was arrested by the MACC on the 28th floor of the Komtar building at 5.45pm, while Phang was arrested at 4.15 pm, at her 6th floor office in Penang Garden.

30th of June 2018

Lim was charged with corruption over the purchase of his RM2.8mil bungalow on Pinhorn Road said to be below market prices and an abuse of power for allegedly re-zoning a plot of land from agriculture to residential use. 

Phang was charged with abetment over the sale of the bungalow to Guan Eng.

The warrant of arrest served on Lim showed two charges – one each under Section 23 of the Anti-Corruption Act and Section 165 of the Penal Code.

What does this tell you?

Well, it tells you that the MACC took all factors into consideration and felt it fit to charge both Guan Eng and Li Khoon in court. 

Back when the MACC first began receiving documents and reports regarding the scandal, the person who was tasked to receive, file and investigate them was none other than Dato’ Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull, the current head of the MACC.

Shukri was then the deputy chief commissioner of the MACC.

Questions began surfacing as to why the MACC was taking so long to call Guan Eng in for questioning amid rumours that Shukri had instructed his men to destroy evidences regarding the bungalow purchase.

Now, this is the same Shukri, who, in 2015, prepared an investigation paper into the RM2.6 billion controversy surrounding Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak that TTF has since proven is open to question.

On the 9th of July 2018, I wrote:

Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz (hereinafter referred to as “Zeti”) refuted a claim that she knew about the RM2.6 million that ended in Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak’s (hereinafter referred to as “Najib”) Ambank account. The ex-Bank Negara governor was referring to Najib’s 2nd of July 2018 interview with Malaysiakini in which the former premier alleged that she knew of the inflow back when she was heading the central bank. It is my contention that Najib was telling Malaysiakini the truth.

Which means, Zeti lied.

It is mind boggling to think that the governor of a central bank would not know of billions flowing into the country the bank is located. Even if an average wage earner who never once received more than RM5,000 were to suddenly receive ten times that amount, the bank that manages his (or her) account would immediately get in touch with him (or her) to investigate the reason such a sum had entered. There is no version of this in which Zeti can get away telling Malaysians that she did not know RM2.6 billion entered Najib’s account.

The (2015) paper (that Shukri prepared) revealed that the Managing Director of Ambank Jalan Raja Chulan, Cheah Tek Kuang, was informed by the bank’s Relationship Manager that a Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil managed Najib’s account. According to the paper, Joanna Yu Ging Ping told Cheah that Najib conferred Nik Faisal the power of attorney to handle his account. On the 20th of June 2018, Najib related the exact same thing to Reuters and added that he didn’t have any knowledge whatsoever a large sum of money was going to come in.

The 2015 paper that made those claims was prepared by the current head of the MACC, Dato’ Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull. In it, Shukri detailed the account of a Mohammad Abdullah Al Koman who happened to represent the Prince of Saudi, Prince Saud Abdulaziz bin Majid. According to the account, it was Zeti who suggested to Abdullah that the RM2.6 billion be remitted to Najib via his personal account. What this means, is that a representative from the Government of Saudi Arabia confirmed that Zeti knew about the RM2.6 billion from day one.

Abdullah’s testimony implied that the RM2.6 billion transfer was more a government-to-central-bank thing than it was a government-to-Najib thing. When Zeti told newsmen on the 3rd of July 2018 that she knew nothing about the transfer, she raised alarm that the 2015 paper Shukri put together could have been fabricated. It follows, that Shukri should immediately have resigned as MACC chief to allow the agency to investigate him.

But he didn’t.

The fact that he pressed ahead with charges against Najib without recording a statement from Zeti reeks of prejudice and mala fide abuse of power. But it wasn’t until his swearing in as MACC chief made headlines did the extent of abuse become manifest. The fact that Tommy Thomas allowed Najib to be charged in court suggests that the Attorney-General (AG) is himself prejudiced against the former premier and conspired with Shukri to criminalise him.

With characters as dubitable as Tommy Thomas and Shukri leading the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the MACC respectively, it is a wonder that Ramkarpal is shocked that the MACC is shocked regarding LGE’s acquittal.

He, of all people, should be able to see though their theatrics and nominate them for the 2018 Oscar Awards instead.

Perhaps Ramkarpal should nominate himself for the award as well.

GEORGE TOWN: Lim Guan Eng’s lawyers say they are shocked that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is not aware of the court’s decision to acquit the Finance Minister of graft charges.

Responding to MACC’s statement that it was shocked by the Penang High Court’s decision on Monday, lawyer Ramkarpal Singh said the statement, which also said the decision was made by the Attorney General’s Chambers and not the MACC, was even more shocking to him.

“I am shocked that the MACC is shocked over the decision.

“Obviously this matter has been brought up to the attention of MACC by the AG.

“They (MACC) obviously have knowledge and been informed that the charges will be withdrawn, as the entire process involves the MACC.

“Is the MACC saying that that AG did not consult them? This is a serious allegation,” said Ramkarpal in a statement.

Ramkarpal, along with R.S.N Rayer and Reubankumar Asokan, who represented Lim, said there was no indication of MACC having no knowledge or hint prior to Lim’s acquittal.

“We were there in the morning and met up with the DPPs, none of them said anything.

“We are taken aback by MACC’s statement. It is a serious allegation and they should stop it,” said Ramkarpal.

After Lim and businesswoman Phang Li Koon were acquitted over the alleged conversion of land status and the purchase of a bungalow below market value, MACC issued a statement saying it was shocked over the acquittal, after the prosecution retracted the case.

The statement also stressed that the decision was made by the Attorney General’s Chambers, and not the MACC.

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