"Heard that MACC has changed the whole of its IT system to Apple-
Tuesday, 07 June 2011 Super Admin
The first thing that ASP Zuhairi did was to interview Ahmad Sarbani’s colleagues and he discovered a totally different picture of this much-maligned dead man. ASP Zuhairi obtained witness statements that Ahmad Sarbani was a responsible and hardworking officer who was ever so helpful to everyone who dealt with the Export & Import Section of Port Klang Customs Dept.NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Dato Seri Abu Kassim was the Deputy Chief Commissioner of the MACC when Teoh Beng Hock died in custody in 2009. When news first broke about what they are trying to mislead us and classify as ‘suicide’, the then Selangor MACC Director, Hishamudin Hashim, panicked and ran to Abu Kassim to get ‘further instructions’.
Teoh Beng Hock in happier times
The Teoh Beng Hock Royal Commission of Inquiry (TBH RCI) has since found damning evidence of lies and manipulation of facts by the MACC to cover up what had transpired at that time -- including the revelation that MACC officers have the habit of watching pornography in the office.
To divert public attention from this damning evidence, on 1st April 2011, Abu Kassim, who by now was the MACC Chief Commissioner, launched a nationwide blitz against the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (Jabatan Kastam) by sensationalising the 'news' that Customs officers had colluded with hundreds of freight forwarders to fleece the government of RM108 billion in tax revenues.
Things went terribly wrong for the MACC when, on 6th April at about 11.00am, Customs Deputy Director Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed was found dead, thrown out of the third floor of the brand new MACC office building at Jalan Cochrane in Kuala Lumpur.
Police officers removing Ahmad Sarbani's body from MACC's KL Office
The MACC Director of Investigations, Datuk Mustafar Ali, gave an immediate press statement that evening that Ahmad Sarbani had come to the MACC office voluntarily and without an appointment.
MACC Investigations Director Dato’ Mutafar Ali justifying the Customs officer’s death at the MACC office
Malaysia Today has now received a report from ‘Deep Throats’ within the MACC as well as within the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) that Datuk Mustafar’s statement was a lie and calculated to deny the fact that Ahmad Sarbani died in MACC’s custody, just like what happened to Teoh Beng Hock.
This is what Malaysia Today’s Deep Throat in the MACC said:
“The MACC’s leadership cannot be trusted. They lied and tried to cover up Teoh Beng Hock’s death. And now they are doing the same again in Ahmad Sarbani’s death.”
The MACC needed something sensational that can overshadow its battered reputation in the TBH RCI. They lied to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak by saying that widespread corruption by the Royal Malaysian Customs had caused the government to suffer tax losses of RM108 billion.
That got Najib excited. You see, Malaysia is going broke and Najib needed that revenue very badly and he thought that this was one way for the country to ‘earn money’.
The Selangor part of the investigation is coordinated by its Director, Yusof Akope, and his deputy, Mohd Fauzi. The Senior Investigating Officer (S.I.O.) for this case is Abdul Ghani.
However, instead of conducting fair and unbiased investigations and telling the truth, these three concocted unverified intelligence to support the MACC HQ’s plan to make the allegations of the loss of RM108 billion believable.
They must have learned this from the CIA, which had fabricated false intelligence reports on weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in order to support President Bush’s plan to invade Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Now the whole world knows that Saddam never had any WMDs. But the end had justified the means -- Saddam has been hung dead.
The Malaysian government-owned mainstream media was roped in to sensationalise the raids and arrests of 62 Customs officers in Penang, Johor, Selangor and Pahang by a special task force, which purportedly comprised the MACC, the Inland Revenue Board, Bank Negara and the Customs Department.
The subsequent reaction of the Customs Department D-G, Dato’ Mohamed Khalid Yusuf, who expressed shock and unhappiness over the exaggerated tax losses and the death is very telling. In fact, the top leadership of the Customs Department was actually in the dark over the MACC plans and did not know anything about what was going on -- contrary to what we were told.
Customs D-G Dato’ Khalid (centre) clarifying the MACC’s erroneous allegations with FMM President Tan Sri Mustafa Mansur and FMM Customs Committee vice-chairman Datuk Tan Kwong Jin
The targets did not require much intelligence to identify. Going by the theory that the revenue losses were from import and export activities, they simply zoomed in on the custom entry points and presumed that all the officers in these divisions were corrupted.
That was how the MACC led these raids. There were no prior investigations. All the MACC had to work on are hunches. But they didn’t care because the objective was to divert public attention from the TBH RCI. That was what the disbanded APCO Public Relations firm had taught them -- it is all about managing public perception.
In the days that followed the sensational raids, the mainstream media kept playing up the story leaked by the MACC itself about one officer who purportedly had several million ringgit in his bank account while another had almost RM1 million. Two others were alleged to have more than RM500,000 each. Stories of the sweeping raids recovering gold bars and more than RM600,000 in cash stored in several bags were played up to the maximum.
With such strong ‘evidence’, you would imagine that these officers would have been charged by now. It has been two months since the raids and arrests, yet not one officer has been charged!
In the meantime, Yusof Akope, Mohd Fauzi and Abdul Ghani continued to smear the name of the dead Ahmad Sarbani as a very corrupted officer and painted him as the mastermind of the multi-billion ringgit Customs Department scam.
They told the Police I.O., ASP Zuhairi Mohamed, that Ahmad Sarbani jumped off the MACC building and committed suicide because he was afraid that the MACC investigations would show the billions of cash that he had stashed away. They even dubbed the case as the 3B case (RM3 billion).
See how fast it came down from RM108 billion to a mere RM3 billion!
They also told ASP Zuhairi and DSP Shafie that Ahmad Sarbani had admitted that he received bribes from Ah Seng of Top Mark Freightforwarding and Wan Zainal Abidin of Schenker Logistics.
The first thing that ASP Zuhairi did was to interview Ahmad Sarbani’s colleagues and he discovered a totally different picture of this much-maligned dead man. ASP Zuhairi obtained witness statements that Ahmad Sarbani was a responsible and hardworking officer who was ever so helpful to everyone who dealt with the Export & Import Section of Port Klang Customs Department.
ASP Zuhairi found out that stories of Ahmad Sarbani being stressed out were also untrue. On 4th April, during Zuhur prayers at the Customs surau in Port Klang, Ahmad Sarbani was seen hugging and consoling fellow officer Basharuddin who had just been released from MACC remand.
According to Basharuddin, Ahmad Sarbani had told him to have faith in God and not to be afraid, as the truth will prevail.
Apparently, Ahmad Sarbani was also an Imam Zuhur of that surau and was a pious Muslim. To ASP Zuhairi, all these are not consistent with the conduct of a stressed-out, corrupted officer who committed suicide.
And tomorrow we shall continue this story with part 3, so stay tuned.