Khir Toyo and the Tooth Fairy

The number of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) files opened this year alone, an incredible 700-odd, involves only some RM6 million in bribes.” This is an absolute disgrace to any organisation claiming to be anti-corruption in a country where billions are routinely looted every year by its misleaders and their cronies. 

By Dean Johns

I wonder how many Malaysians are still gullible enough to fall for Barisan Nasional’s latest fairy tale, that the prosecution of erstwhile dentist and former Selangor Menteri Besar, Mohd Khir Toyo, is a sign that the BN regime is serious about combating high-level corruption in its ranks.

Especially in light of the fact that the authorities have shown themselves so utterly toothless in countless former and current cases ranging from Mahathir Mohamad’s bail-out of his son Mirzan’s failed shipping line, through the mis-allocation of approval permits (APs) by Rafidah Aziz, the Maika Holdings and Telekom shares affairs involving Samy Vellu, and current suspicions surrounding the obscene affluence of Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Maqhmud.

And that’s just a very small sample of the blatant selectivity of the BN government’s crime- and grime-fighting activities. In fact the nation’s chief law-enforcer himself, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Petail, actually personifies this grossly iniquitous situation, having been promoted to his current position in reward for services rendered in the prosecution of Anwar Ibrahim on his first trumped-up sodomy charge.

Abdul Gani and Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein are both apparently content to preside over a system of ‘justice’ that condones execution-style shootings of unarmed and even underage ‘suspects’, the faking of ‘accidents’ or ‘suicides’ by unfortunates in police and MACC custody, and the fabrication of ‘evidence’ against critics and opponents of the BN gang.

But when it comes to the investigation and prosecution of rich or politically-connected criminals, or investigating murder suspects among themselves and their supporters, they’re quite astonishingly incompetent.

So it’s no wonder that Khir Toyo appeared so relaxed and all toothy smiles when he was arrested and charged, and that Gani Petail came across as so utterly unconvincing when discussing the matter with the media.

For example, while it emerged that Toyo is simply accused of buying two plots of land for his mansion at a suspiciously steep discount, not for the massive corruption that must have enabled him to afford the land in the first place and the magnificent mansion he subsequently built on it, Gani Petail claimed that the investigation had been so slow because of its complexity.

And then he appeared to be confused, or else deliberately confusing, about whether the case was being conducted under the criminal code or the MACC Act, thus calling into question what the possible penalty could involve state seizure of the property in the unlikely event that Toyo is found guilty.

“You have to go back to the basis of it, how the matter was transacted, (getting) witnesses, recording of witness statements, getting everything clear…especially since this happened some time ago…we cannot have a flimsy investigation,” he was quoted as explaining.

Perhaps recalling the disgraceful parade of suborned and perjured witnesses back in the days of his involvement in the notorious trials of Anwar Ibrahim ten years ago, he also stressed that the prosecution would apply “the full force of the law” to prevent tampering with witnesses in the Khir Toyo case.

Despite such sanctimonious assurances, many Malaysians saw this case as the wayang kulit performance or sandiwara that it so evidently is, staged specifically to restore some of BN’s tattered credibility in advance of a forthcoming general election.

Prime Minister Najib Razak responded to these allegations with his customary far-fetched fictions, like the old fable that “the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)…is an independent body.”

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