Malaysia

RPK claims proof Sarbaini did not take bribes

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
July 21, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — Raja Petra Kamarudin today continued his attacks against the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), this time producing what appears to be a cautioned statement by Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed where he allegedly stated that he had never received any bribes as a Customs officer.

The fugitive blogger posted on his Malaysia Today website what appears to be Ahmad Sarbaini’s cautioned statement under section 53(3) of the 2009 MACC Act. The document contained supposed details of the Customs officer’s personal and family assets where he stated that he and his family owned three cars and three houses.

Raja Petra made another claim against the MACC. — File picRaja Petra made another claim against the MACC. — File picAhmad Sarbaini, 56, who was attached to the Port Klang Customs office, was found dead on a badminton court on the first floor of the MACC building in Cheras here on April 6.

He had been remanded on March 29 following an MACC-led swoop on a Customs syndicate that it said was responsible for at least RM3 billion in unpaid taxes, resulting in the arrest of 62 officers.

“I can confirm that all the time I have worked in Customs I have not met anyone by the name of Chooi from Top Freight and Shipping (M) Sdn Bhd. As far as I can remember I only recognise Top Mark officials who deal with me regarding imports and exports… (one of them) is called Firdaus.

“In all my dealings with Firdaus I have never been offered any imbuhan (additional profit) related to Customs,” read the document allegedly signed by Ahmad Sarbaini.

According to the document, MACC investigators had asked Ahmad Sarbaini to verify whether he had approved and signed three Customs forms labelled B18101007861, B18104010782 and B18111013743. The document suggests that the late Customs officer had confirmed that his seal was used but could not at the time verify whether the signature belonged to him as there have been cases of “forgery” in the past.

Raja Petra had also recently alleged Ahmad Sarbaini fell accidentally from the third-floor pantry window of the Kuala Lumpur MACC office after being forced onto the ledge by a senior MACC investigator.

The popular blogger claimed the investigator was incensed that the Customs man wanted to retract his earlier confession, allegedly obtained under duress, and punished Ahmad Sarbaini by making him stand on the ledge.

He further claimed that the MACC investigator convened a “conference” with his colleagues to “brainstorm and concoct the most plausible story” to protect their careers.

This has however been dismissed as nonsense by MACC lawyer Datuk Seri Shafee Abdullah.

As a result of Raja Petra’s previous post, Ahmad Sarbaini’s family will lodge a new police report.

The family’s lawyer Awtar Singh said police must reinvestigate the case as it was “impossible” for Ahmad Sarbaini to fall from the third-floor window of the MACC office in Jalan Cochrane here on his own accord.

He added that the family might ask the inquest to return to the scene of Ahmad Sarbaini’s death to re-enact a likely scenario of what might have happened.

Some 27 witnesses have so far testified in the inquest up to July 15, including DSP Sharul Othman Mansur who said that Ahmad Sarbaini did not commit suicide nor was he murdered.

The forensics officer said that Ahmad Sarbaini tried to jump to a badminton court but failed and fell to his death.