Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Something's Rotten in the State of Denmark

Just something or more than that with the unusual drama played out in the nation's security force?

It seems former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad was downright correct, correct, correct to paraphrase Shakespeare in his early speech sometime ago.

You, my dear reader, you and I can play the role of those in a cyberspace jury (I wish this system is back for all Malaysians!) in this ongoing Bollywood-style wayang kulit show...The last few words is surely a cliff-hanger a la Alfred Hitchcock signature sign-off. (Ah-at one time I had a sign that read "The Buck Stops Here". I never regretted throwing the cursed piece away eventually...)

Without boring you with further details as many blogs are covering this hot issue... here is what the so-called '27 Million Cop', head of the nation's top Police Commercial Crime Unit, has released to the press and published in Malaysiakini-the courageous online news portal that shares all:

Ramli: There's a disturbance in the force
Oct 30, 07 3:26pm

The following is the full three-page press statement released by Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief Ramli Yusuff today.

I have until today remained silent about developments in the police force, in particular, the arrest and prosecution of officers of the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) who are alleged to have falsified statements of confidential informants in connection with the banishment of one Goh Cheng Poh @ Tengku.

Sometime last year, a joint committee and a special task force were established at the cabinet level and PDRM (Malay acronym for the Royal Malaysian Police) respectively to combat the worrisome menace of Ah Long (loan sharks) activities and illegal gambling.

In March 2007, the deputy minister of internal security (Mohd Johari Baharum) gave specific directives to the CCID on the activities of certain crime syndicates operating in Johor involving certain Datos and JPs (both are honorific titles).

The investigations by the CCID led to the eventual detention and banishment of the said Goh Cheng Poh @ Tengku to Jeli, Kelantan. The detention and banishment order was made under the hand of the deputy minister of internal security, based on the intelligence gathered by police officers of the CCID.

(The person being banished) Goh is on his own confession a person of questionable background, having been banished previously and who was involved in a shooting incident in which a friend of his was shot and murdered. The merits of his banishment are a matter which is within the subjective purview and prerogative of the deputy minister of internal security and, consequently, I am not at liberty to comment.

Soon after the banishment order was made by the deputy minister of internal security, the press reported that both the ACA (Anti-Corruption Agency) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID – another police department) had already investigated and cleared Goh of any wrongdoing.

This certainly did not include the subject matter of the CCID’s investigations into Goh's affairs as directed by the deputy minister of internal security. In the aftermath of these newspaper reports, Goh applied to the High Court to set aside the banishment order made against him by the deputy minister of internal security.

AG's unprecedented stance

In an unprecedented stance, the legal adviser of the Ministry of Internal Security, an officer of the Attorney-General’s Chambers, declined to advise and direct my officers and I (to) prepare affidavits of the events surrounding the preparation of the investigative papers on Goh for the benefit of the deputy minister of internal security.

Those affidavits were to be filed in the High Court arising from the application by Goh to have his banishment order set aside. Given the constraints of time, we, the officers of the CCID, sought legal advice from a private law practice who advised and assisted in the preparation of the draft affidavits concerned.

I was under advice at the time that the attorney-general (Abdul Gani Patail) was under a duty to advise and assist us in the preparation of the said affidavits under Article 145 of the Federal Constitution and the Government Proceedings Act, 1956.

My officers and I were then directed to deliver up the confidential case files containing the names of the confidential informants to the Attorney-General's Chambers. I have since been aware that officers of the ACA have tracked down these informants and taken statements from them. Subsequently, these informants have made further statements in connection with their seeking (of) protection from the deputy minister of internal security.

During the course of these events, the press began widely reporting the involvement of a Sr. (senior) police officer for the following:

1. Investigation by ACA into the unexplained accumulation of wealth alleged to be RM27 million;

2. Investigation by the ACA of the said senior police officer taking on the role of an "enforcer/godfather” of a company in Sabah and being its shareholder/director without departmental clearance; and

3. Investigation for the abuse of powers by the CCID in the crime preventive action concerning the detention and banishment of the aforesaid Goh.

Although the name of the officer was not disclosed, it is a public knowledge that I was the officer referred to in these widely sensationalised news.

I understand that one Sok One a/l (anak lelaki) Esen, an ACA officer, has sworn and filed an affidavit in the proceedings brought by Goh to have his banishment order set aside. In that affidavit, Sok One confirmed that the ACA was investigating the CCID in connection with Goh’s allegations of CCID officers having abused their powers.

My lawyer arrested

On the eve of Hari Raya, one of my longstanding friends who also acted as my legal adviser was arrested and charged for the alleged failure to comply with a notice served on him at the behest of the ACA.

One of the officers present at the time of his arrest and detention was the said Sok One. He was also one of the lawyers who assisted in the preparation of the affidavits of CCID officers filed in the proceedings in connection with the Goh case.

Within the week, several officers of the CCID were arrested and charged in court for allegedly falsifying evidence concerning the banishment of Goh. In the charge sheets, the names of the confidential informants have been disclosed.

I am gravely concerned by the manner in which the identities of police informants are dealt with in investigations carried out by the ACA. The identities of the informants were obtained through the circumvention of the Inspector General's Standing Orders. Given these events, there exists a clear and present danger as to the intelligence gathering ability of the police force and its ability to protect its informants.

These are disturbing events and will undeniably have a deep impact, not only on the CCID but the police force as a whole. The officers of the CCID have been mistreated by the ACA and are yet to be protected by their own force.

I will be departing for my umrah (minor haj) and in my absence, I hope these issues will be dealt with by the Ministry of Internal Security.

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