The system stinks

For the first time in more than a decade, there are now serious allegations of gross abuse of power against one of the highest officers of the land – the Attorney General – by another high-ranking officer.

Lim Kit Siang

Dare Najib set up a judicial tribunal to investigate into serious allegations by former CCID director Ramli Yusuf that Attorney-General Gani Patail had abused his constitutional powers to ensure that there is justice and fair play in the land?

The system stinks. For the first time in more than a decade, there are now serious allegations of gross abuse of power against one of the highest officers of the land – the Attorney General – by another high-ranking officer.

Dare the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak get the Cabinet to set up a judicial tribunal to investigate into the serious allegations by the former Commercial Crimes Investigation Department Chief Datuk Ramli Yusuf that the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had abused his constitutional powers to ensure that there is justice and fair play in the land?

The serious allegations made by Ramli are not new to informed and knowledgeable Malaysians as they have been in the public domain for quite some time, but this is the first time that it has been made specifically by Ramli in public against Gani, which warrants serious and instant attention and action by Najib if the Prime Minister is sincere and serious in wanting to carry out a government and national transformation in the country where abuses of power and corruption are regarded as anathema under his administration.

According to Malaysiakini yesterday, Ramli had made use of his 60th leap year birthday celebration on Wednesday to describe in detail how he and his men had been fixed by the Attorney-General since 2007 and how they were vindicated by the courts in being acquitted of the charges.

He also described how Gani used the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against him and his men.

Ramli said in his speech that it all began when his officers were entrusted with taking action against a syndicate member who was sent to Jeli, in Kelantan to serve restricted residence (RR) order.

The man had been accused of being involved in organised crime, including loan sharking, running an illegal lottery syndicate, prostitution and drug pushing in Johor.

Ramli said: “This information was given by the then deputy home minister (Johari Baharom), and the matter was considered a ‘top secret’ and highly confidential case. Later, I was told to report to him directly after the file was completed.

“Accordingly, I instructed my officers to put up the case against the syndicate member, which was subsequently submitted to the deputy minister for committal under the RR order. However, upon the advice of the AG, the syndicate member was subsequently released, unconditionally.

“Instead, my officers were charged with taking down false and fabricated statements that implicated the then inspector-general of police (Musa Hassan).

“That’s when AG Gani Patail called the original case file, which was classified as highly confidential, and passed it to the MACC to harass the witnesses.”

Ramli said he was thankful that the people who served under him were acquitted and discharged without their defence being called.

“There was no basis whatsoever for the prosecution to appeal. All of them have been reinstated.

“Tonight, I pay tribute to these fearless officers. All of them have been reinstated and promoted. To IGP Ismail Omar, I say thank you for recognising that they have been victimised and for giving them back their dignity and honour. I am glad that the (police) force has not forsaken them.”

Ramli noted that Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Khalid Abu Bakar had also investigated the same syndicate member and that the officers involved in that investigation were transferred out, including Khalid.

These officers were acquitted and discharged without their defence being called and were also reinstated.

Ramli said a month before he was charged, his lawyer and one time university mate, Rosli Dahlan,was arrested in “a most humiliating manner” by the MACC and held overnight, and charged a day before Hari Raya that same year.

“They falsely accused Rosli of failure to declare his assets. Their objective was to implicate him for representing me, after they found that all the sensational stories spread by them through the mainstream media about me being the RM27 million cop were nothing but blatant lies.”

The former top cop said the MACC was unhappy with Rosli because he helped us (Ramli and Johari) to prepare affidavits that were supposed to be prepared by a senior federal counsel with the Home Ministry.

“The AG (Gani) was angry with Rosli for pointing out that the refusal by the Attorney-General’s Chambers to prepare these affidavits (to challenge the release of the syndicate member) amounted to an abdication of his constitutional duties under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution.

“Because they were out to get me, and get me good, they pursued all avenues within their powers, regardless of the consequences on innocent parties like Rosli. This unconscionable conduct alarmed me as a law enforcment officer,” Ramli said.

Having served the police force with great pride for 38 years, he said, all that came to an abrupt halt on Nov 1, 2007, when, three months shy of his retirement, he was charged in court.

“On that fateful day, life was no longer as I knew it. Overnight, my career was destroyed, my reputation tarnished and the privileges accorded to me stripped away.

“Like living in a nightmare, I found myself being singled out as a corrupt officer and the full strength of multiple bodies in power at that period of time had their crosshairs on me.

“With God’s grace, I have now been vindicated of all the charges because they are nothing more than falsehood. Although there were many efforts made to condemn me in the public eye, I had decided after being a civil servant, the only way to proceed was to prove my innocence…”

Ramli said that though “the powers that be” were determined to use all possible means to see him be convicted, he was not called to make his defence on any of the five charges levelled against him.

“I am well on the way to complete exoneration. As they say, you can’t keep a good man down.  However, as of today, I am patiently awaiting one more appeal by the AG pertaining to a summons case, the most minor of the charges.

“I am, however, sad to point out that my pension and gratuity have been withheld since 2008,  as I am said to be not yet fully cleared of all charges against me. That to me explained why the AG Chambers have kept this appeal suspended to this day.”

He ended his speech by saying that he could not, and would not, allow such abuses to take place again and that he would not sit idly by letting such incidents to be repeated.

Gani Patail makes history as the Attorney-General in the country’s 55 year history who has got the most number as well as the most serious charges of abuses of power made against him.

With Ramli going public, accepting full consequences for making the specific charges of abuses of power against Gani, the Najib administration cannot continue to be like the three monkeys of having eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouth that speaks not but must act to protect the integrity both of the Constitution and the highest offices in the land.

In view of the many serious charges of abuses of power which have been made against the Attorney-General, Najib should ask the Cabinet to set up a Judicial Tribunal to investigate into all these charges, and until Gani is cleared of all these charges, he should go on leave to allow an acting Attorney-General to be appointed in his stead.