PRESS STATEMENT BY: TAN SRI DATUK ROBERT PHANG MIOW SIN. Justice of Peace, Chairman – Social Care Foundation
1. Recently, I came under personal attacks from various anonymous blogs after I raised concerns about public perceptions on a host of issues namely about the lack of action in the MAS Scandal; AG Gani Patail’s Haj Trip under suspicious circumstances; AG Gani Patail’s relationship with the former Chairman of MAS, Tajudin Ramli’s proxy, one En Shahidan Shafie; whether AG Gani Patail was compromised in his decision to not act on the recommendation of Dato’ Ramli Yusuff to institute prosecution against Tajudin and several others; about perceived selective prosecution; and also the attempt to clear AG Gani Patail of these allegations of wrongdoing without any investigation.
2. For merely asking AG Gani Patail to be accountable for all these controversies that were already in the public domain, I suddenly became the subject of these venomous attacks. On January 19, the anonymous blog also accused me of trying to bribe a Secretary-General of a Ministry. I was subsequently told that that the Attorney-General had directed an investigation paper to be opened against me. On January 21, I met the Chief Commissioner, Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed to confirm that information. He told me that was not true.
3. Despite what Datuk Abu Kassim had told me, the Malay Mail subsequently reported that the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Liew Vui Keong, had urged the MACC to initiate an investigation against me. The Malay Mail also quoted that the MACC Anti-Corruption Advisory Board member, Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas, had said that the MACC cannot allow its credibility to be undermined by an advisory panel member.
4. On January 22, the NST carried a news report that the Malay rightist movement, Perkasa, had lodged a report against me and that the MACC will be investigating me. Then on 22nd January 2011, I received a telephone call from Tuan Haji Mustafar Ali that he wished to record my statement. I was surprised as that was inconsistent with what Datuk Abu Kassim had told me earlier.
5. All these seem to be a concerted attack against me. The attacks against me centered on my past business activities in Sabah and most of it were fictitious. It is a fact that AG Gani is from Sabah. It is also a fact that Datuk VK Liew is from Sabah. Datuk VK Liew is Deputy to Dato Seri Nazri Aziz, our de facto Minister of Law. To me, fanning these issues publicly is a calculated and orchestrated effort to discredit me. It is to put me on trial by media in a most unfair manner.
6. On January 24, I asked the Chief Commissioner for confirmation on the following :-
(a) Whether the identity of the blogger has been identified. If so, that I be provided with their full particulars;
(b) Whether the blogger has lodged a report against me. If so, that I be provided with a copy so that I may ascertain the exact nature of the complaint;
(c) Who is the Secretary General referred to by the blogger;
(d) Whether an investigation paper has been opened, and if so, when and at whose initiation.
7. I have lived long enough to know that this is an attempt to intimidate me for speaking out. The trial of Dato’ Ramli Yusuff has shown how cover reports after cover reports were filed to conceal the fact that there never was a real complainant and that there was never a predicated offence to prosecute him. The same is about to be done to me now. The speed at which an investigation has commenced against me is also amazing considering the inaction over the public disclosure of AG Gani Patail’s association with En Shahidan Shafee. I consider all these wholly unsatisfactory and smacks of double standards.
8. On January 25 when my Panel convened a meeting, I have informed the Chief Commissioner and all my Panel members that if they consider that I have caused disrepute to the MACC, I would resign. They have advised me not to do so.
9. I am not unmindful of the argument that unlike the position of the Attorney-General who controls criminal prosecutions, in my position as a non-executive Panel member I cannot interfere with the process of investigation or any decision for prosecution. That seems a compelling reason for me to remain on the Panel.
10. However, I feel very aggrieved at this orchestrated attempt to discredit me by rogues from within and outside the government. What has happened to me in this case can happen to any of the MACC Panel members and also to any innocent citizens of this beloved country. It is a sad day when a person should face action merely for speaking out the truth and for seeking accountability by those who wield power.
11. I have considered this matter and I will walk the talk. I think tendering my resignation is only the right thing for me to do to sincerely help facilitate investigations. Thus, in order to protect my integrity and that of the MACC, I hereby announce my resignation. I give my assurance that I will give my fullest co-operation to the MACC’s investigators.
12. I remain committed in the fight against graft. I will keep my pledge to continue speaking out against injustice and abuses until all these rogues within and outside of government are weeded out. That is a pledge that I will keep.
“HUMBLENESS IS GOOD VIRTUE, ARROGANCE SHALL FALL, THE MEEK WILL RULE THE WORLD”.
Tan Sri Datuk Robert Phang Miow Sin
Justice of Peace