Malaysia

MACC panel no power to review probes, claims Mat Zain

December 22, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 — Retired senior policeman Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim questioned today a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) panel chief’s recent explanation to close the file on P. Balasubramaniam’s controversial sworn statement over the 2006 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

The former KL Criminal Investigation Department chief said Tan Sri Hadenan Abdul Jalil and the Operations Review Panel (PPO) the latter chairs have no power to review MACC’s prosecution cases, based on the MACC Advisory Board’s previous response to him in a separate case.

“PPO has no power to review a case decision,” the ex-police veteran said today in an open letter to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar, urging the latter to act on the ongoing storm over Balasubramaniam’s (picture) two conflicting statutory declarations (SDs) that has implicated several top-ranking government officials and politicians.

Mat Zain was responding to Hadenan’s explanation two days ago stating that prominent lawyer Tan Sri Cecil Abraham — who also sits on the PPO — was not part of the graftbuster review team that had closed the file on the former private eye’s controversial second sworn statement over the 2006 murder. 

Hadenan said the case, which was linked to that of carpet merchant Deepak Jaikishan, had been presented at a PPO pre-meeting on November 8.

“Tan Sri Hadenan’s statement should be questioned,” Mat Zain said.

He demanded Hadenan clarify the grounds for the PPO’s authority to review the MACC’s and the DPP’s decision relating to Balasubramaniam’s second SD as had received a very different response previously when he appealed to the MACC’s Advisory Board (LPPR) three years ago to review the graftbuster’s decision on a police report dated July 1, 2008 lodged by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim accusing Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, then-IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan, a medical doctor and Mat Zain himself of fabricating evidence in the infamous “black-eye” incident.

He said his appeal letter had been copied to every member on the LPPR, including Hadenan, and that he had received a reply from the LPPR secretariat on July 23, 2009 that was signed by the board chairman, Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad, a former Chief Justice.

“For your information Y Bhg Dato’, LPPR’s power as provided under section 13 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act (MACC) (Act 694) DOES NOT include reviewing any decision that has been made by the MACC and the public prosecutor in a case,” Abdul Hamid had written to Mat Zain in a letter dated July 23, 2009.

Mat Zain said he was perplexed because LPPR stated it had no authority to review decisions by MACC and the public prosecutor in that letter, but still had three indepth meetings to discuss his appeal, as it had listed in the same letter, on April 20, June 15 and June 25 of 2009.

“It is not wrong for me to conclude that such an answer was given to ‘cover up’ the crime by Gani Patail and Musa Hassan to prevent them from being punished by the law,” he said today.

“So who is speaking the truth in this matter? Tun Abdul Hamid or Tan Sri Hadenen?” Mat Zain asked.

He described Hadenan’s statement on Abraham as little more than a “whitewashing exercise” as the PPO’s discussions have no effect on the MACC’s and DPP’s decision regarding the Balasubramaniam SD case.

The former policeman called for a probe into the PPO’s past reviews following Hadenan’s recent remarks.

He suggested the PPO’s review of the A-G’s decision on the judicial bribery allegations raised against senior lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam and the MAS financial scandal involving tycoon Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli to kickstart investigations.