Malaysia

Musa Hassan denies abusing power while a cop

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 ― Tan Sri Musa Hassan maintains he never abused his authority during his 41 years in the police force despite a former colleague’s persistent claim that he had colluded with the country’s top lawyer to escape charges linking him to Johor’s underworld.

The retired Inspector-General of Police (IGP) said he has done nothing wrong and is willing to subject himself to questioning by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to clear his name.

“I did not do anything wrong,” Musa (picture) told The Malaysian Insider when contacted last night, before adding, “If did wrong, let the MACC investigate.”

Datuk Ramli Yusuff, a former director with the Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID), has repeatedly accused the ex-IGP of having close ties with Chinese vice syndicates while serving as Johor police chief.

Ramli, a former colleague-turned-vocal critic, had recently rekindled the 2006 rumours that had linked Musa to Goh Cheng Poh, an underworld figure nicknamed “Tengku Goh” and said to be a Johor mob boss, after the ex-IGP raised a stink last week over the executive’s purported interference with police work.

Court documents filed by the alleged mobster and made public in a sensational trial in August 2007 had fuelled speculation of a special relationship with Musa, who had by then succeeded Tan Sri Mohammed Bakri Omar as IGP for nearly a year.

In his affidavit, Goh was reported to have said: “I believe the IGP was not informed of my arrest and detention”.

Musa had also been investigated by the anti-graft agency on suspicion of involvement with three members of an illegal gambling syndicate shortly after his promotion to IGP in September 2006, but Attorney-General (A-G) Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was reported to have ordered the investigation file closed in July 2007 due to lack of evidence.

“I received a letter that Tengku Goh was framed, and I myself did not know about the arrest. After that, I directed them to investigate and later the court acquitted, so, why am I the one who’s being hit?” the 60-year-old asked.

“And I did not know about his arrest because the order was issued by the deputy minister at that time,” he said, referring to Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum, who was deputy minister for internal security in 2007.

Musa said the CCID that had once been led by Ramli was only tasked with nabbing loansharks, known colloquially as “Ah Longs”, and ending their illegal money lending schemes.

“This Tengku Goh was arrested on a gambling charge, this is under D7, and not his field,” Musa said referring to the police division in charge of gambling, vice and secret societies.

“So, I only followed the base that was set, and when Tengku Goh was found not guilty, why should I be the one accused of power abuse?” Musa raised.

But his biggest critic, Ramli, stands firm in his belief that Musa has misused his authority while in uniform, and has dared the latter to sue him over his remarks.

“If what I say is not right, I am ready for Musa or Gani to take legal action against me. Berani kerana benar [bold as true],” Ramli told The Malaysian Insider previously.

The former police veteran has been a vocal critic of Musa and A-G Abdul Gani, both of whom he blames for putting him in the dock on a corruption charge in 2007 that several mainstream media outlets had sensationalised as the case of the “RM27 million cop”.

The personal enmity between Musa and Ramli could potentially open the can of worms on Malaysia’s foremost law enforcement agency, more so after the ex-IGP’s bombshell that several ministers and politicians, including Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had taken direct command of the police force.

Musa reiterated that his remarks against the government’s executive arm were not unsubstantiated criticism but based on facts.

“I’m not criticising, I am only conveying the real story.

“I want the police system corrected, repaired. Don’t say that’s wrong?” he added.

* A previous version of this article mis-stated Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom as the deputy minister for internal security in 2007. It has since been corrected to identify Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum as the holder of the post. The error is regretted.

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