Malaysia

Customs, MACC meets Tuesday over Ops 3B, Sarbani’s death

By G Manimaran
Bahasa Malaysia Editor


April 11, 2011

Sarbani carried to his final resting place at the Kota Damansara Muslim Cemetery last Friday. — Picture by Jack OoiSarbani carried to his final resting place at the Kota Damansara Muslim Cemetery last Friday. — Picture by Jack Ooi

Peninsular Malaysia Customs Union president Ibrahim Ahmad said union representatives will discuss a range of issues with MACC chief Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed following the highly-publicised swoop and subsequent death.

“The MACC chief has agreed to meet us this April 12, so we hope that this opportunity will be used to get an explanation into a few things that have been happened for the last two weeks,” Ibrahim told The Malaysian Insider.

Union representatives have stated after a meeting in Kelana Jaya last Friday that they wanted to meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and MACC management over Operation 3B and the death of Ahmad Sarbani.

The Customs’ union said its morale was damaged by the death of senior officer Ahmad Sarbani and allegations of billion-ringgit corruption.

The prime minister has said  that Customs should not be concerned about the allegations if they adhered to regulations.

“It would not be a problem. I can meet them, at the appropriate time,” said Najib yesterday.

Ahmad Sarbani was found dead on the ground outside the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) office in Jalan Cochrane at about 10.20am on Wednesday.

The Customs’ union remains unconvinced that Ahmad Sarbani would meet the MACC if he had not been ordered to do so.

“I welcome the Prime Minister’s immediate reaction, but when this meeting will take place we do not know.

“We will bring up several issues including that of the welfare of Customs staff if the meeting were to take place,” Ibrahim added.

President of the Malaysian Customs Alumni Association Datuk Abdul Rahman Manan said that senior officials have unofficially decided to ask MACC to clarify a few matters to avoid the Customs department being wrongfully portrayed.

“We are disappointed with media reports which have connected Operation 3B with illegal money transfer amounting to RM108 million.

“We want this issue explained, given the right information so that people do not view KDRM negatively,” said Abdul Rahman.

The MACC raided over 100 premises including 25 Customs offices in a nationwide dragnet late last month for alleged tax evasion, money laundering and illegal funds outflows worth billions of ringgit.

Ahmad Sarbani’s death comes as a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) is investigating MACC operational procedures and the death of Teoh on July 16, 2009 after a coroner’s inquest returned an open verdict of neither suicide nor homicide.

The aide to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah was a witness whose body was found sprawled on the fifth-floor corridor of the anti-graft body’s Selangor headquarters following overnight questioning there.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah also confirmed that Sarbani suffered injuries that were consistent with a fall from height but refused to say if the 56-year-old father had suffered any other injuries.