Saturday 25 August 2012

MACC clears Robert Phang of graft accusation

Outspoken former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) panel member Robert Phang has been cleared of the corruption allegations made against him.

MACC director of investigations Mustafar Ali today confirmed this in an SMS in response to a query from Malaysiakini.

NONEPhang has also been issued with a letter from Mustafar, dated November last year, clearing him of the allegation made by an anonymous blogger.

However, the letter from the MACC that clears Phang also states that it cannot be used for the purpose of publication by the media.

"The prosecutors have made the decision and cleared Phang from the corruption allegation. It was also announced by the Operations Review panel," Mustafar said in an SMS earlier this week.

Phang resigned from the MACC panel early last year, declaring he needed to preserve his and the MACC's integrity, and allow the graft commission to investigate the claims against him without any fear of conflict of interest.

His decision to resign stemmed from damning allegations that he had bribed a senior officer of the Home Ministry.

Commenting on the MACC's confirmation that he has been cleared of the allegations of corruption, Phang, 72, said he was thankful that the anti-graft body had cleared him.

"The allegation (made in the blog) was baseless as it only surfaced early last year, following my criticism of attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail over his haj trip in 2010.

"I had said that Gani went on the trip with a shady character, Shahidan Shafie, who is a close acquaintance of former Malaysia Airlines chairperson Tajudin Ramli.

NONE"The said transaction that I was implicated in but was not involved in any way occurred in 2008," Phang told Malaysiakini.

Gani had appeared before an MACC joint panel to explain his haj trip and one of the panel members, Ramon Navaratnam, said MACC was satisfied with the Gani's explanation.

However, Ramon's position was blasted by Phang, who maintained that some members were not truly satisfied.

The AG was last year cleared of the haj trip allegation, and the MACC also declared that no criminal offence took place.

'AG has to come clean'

Phang said following the allegations against the AG in connection with the Ho Hup affair, Gani should temporarily remove himself from his post to provide for the integrity of the investigations into that matter.

The Social Just Care foundation chairperson said he has also lodged a police report against Gani in connections with the damning allegations made against Gani in a recently published book.

"The police have recorded my statement for the report that I lodged. They asked for my purpose of lodging the report and my response was that it is for the authorities to investigate the truth of the allegations.

NONE"Gani should remove himself from the post of AG until he is fully cleared. Follow my example and resign until you are cleared. Or, if the allegations made in the book are untrue, then Gani should file a defamation suit," Phang added.

The 14-chapter book published by the author himself, lawyer Zainal Abidin Ahmad, is titled ‘Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail: Pemalsu, Penipu, Penjenayah?' and it includes various open letters from former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Mat Zain Ibrahim.

Being the top prosecutor in the country, Phang said, Gani who is a fellow Sabahan like him must come clean as there are many allegations made against him, in the past and at present as well.

"Otherwise, Gani will be seen as a big liability for the BN in winning the 13th general election," he declared.

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