AG answers MACC over link to Tajuddin Ramli

(The Malaysian Insider) – Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has convinced anti-graft authorities of his innocence after being linked to former Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chairman Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli, who is being investigated for graft in the flag carrier.

The country’s top lawyer met Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) board and panel members for a dialogue this morning and furnished proof of his recent haj pilgrimage to Mecca which he was said to have travelled with Tajuddin’s proxy Shahidan Shafie.

MACC corruption prevention panel chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, who attended the two-hour session at the Anti-Corruption Academy here, told The Malaysian Insider that Abdul Gani had gone out on a limb to prove his innocence.

“He went overboard and gave us detailed accounts of his trip to Mecca, showed us vouchers and statements and many of us even thought it was unnecessary to have gone so far,” he said when contacted this evening.

Navaratnam said that MACC members were satisfied with Abdul Gani’s explanation and found that there was no need to investigate the allegations.

“We found that there was no case at all to accuse him of being linked to Tajuddin just because of this trip. It was irresponsible to allege that he was in any way linked.

“Panel members did not see it fit to investigate the matter as we do not go by hearsay allegations or irresponsible rumours,” he said.

Last month, Social Care Foundation chairman Tan Sri Robert Phang Miow Sin had called on Abdul Gani to clear the air over allegations made on the Malaysia Today website of the latter’s relationship with Shahidan. 

Abdul Gani was alleged to have shared the same travel package to Mecca with Shahidan, adding suspicion to earlier claims that the lawyer had been “convinced” not to press charges against Tajuddin, who also once owned mobile provider Celcom Bhd.

Tajuddin is presently under investigation for graft following the national carrier’s whopping losses of some RM8 billion during his tenure.

Malaysia Today editor and controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin has also alleged that Shahidan, Tajuddin’s frontman, had fostered ties with Abdul Gani when he was formerly a police officer in Johor Bahru.

The portal had also published records and pictures of the duo’s trip to Mecca, under a package said to have cost about RM60,000 per head.

Shahidan was said to have picked up the tab.