Musa-Phang altercation intensifies 

(The Sun Daily) – WITH an American multi-national, its consultant and a retired police head honcho as key players, the bout is bound to be spell-binding. Pepper it with intrigue, power-peddling, intimidation, lobbying and mud-slinging and that would result in an extraordinary sight for those on the ringside seats. It is only “Round One” and the gloves have already come off, with bystanders baying for blood.

The ongoing spat between the former inspector-general of police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan and former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) advisory panel member Tan Sri Robert Phang took a dramatic turn at a media conference yesterday, with confessions and admissions which make compelling reading, interpretation and elucidation.

Phang conceded that he is still a consultant on the payroll of Motorola Technology Sdn Bhd which had won a contract to upgrade the communication system used by the Royal Malaysian Police. This was in response to Musa’s claim that Phang threatened a high- ranking police officer and had him removed from his post.

Musa claimed that the police officer, who holds the rank of Senior Assistant Commissioner and a PhD holder, had refused to comply with a request to commission a multi-million ringgit project for Motorola in which Phang was involved in 2009.

“I deny that I have caused this officer’s transfer within 24 hours,” said Phang.

Phang was adamant, stating that he only became a consultant after Motorola had won the contract. However, when asked what capacity he was in when present at the press conference organised by Motorola on Feb 26, 2008, he quipped: ‘I was there to promote Malaysia as an investment destination.” He maintained that at that time, he had no official links with the company.

But Phang admitted that he met the officer in question at meetings at the Home Affairs Ministry on issues about the supply of equipment to the police in 2009.

“I was there in my capacity as consultant,” reiterating that he was there after Motorola had won the contract in 2008.

But Musa contradicted Phang’s assertion, saying that the contract was awarded in 2009. He was quoted as saying that Motorola had obtained a project “to upgrade the police communications system from the analogue to the digital system in 2009”.

“I was informed by sources that the police were asked to commission the project when it was incomplete. If the project was not commissioned, (the company) would not be paid. So Phang asked a police officer to commission it, but that officer rejected this because it was incomplete. He threatened the officer saying that, if he refused (to commission the system), he would be transferred out,” Musa was quoted as saying on Monday.

For good measure, Phang added that he did not know how the deal was secured but said: “Motorola got the contract not because of Robert Phang.”

Going on the defensive under intense questioning by the media, Phang admitted he was an MACC advisory panel member while being Motorola’s consultant but declared there was no conflict of interest. In an hour-long press conference, Phang produced three-year-old press clippings and a statutory declaration signed by Musa’s former ADC, ASP Noor Azizul Rahim Taharim.

Then, he declared his involvement: “I was the one together with Datuk Ramli Yusoff (former Commercial Crimes Division chief) who helped draft and prepare the document.”

(The statutory declaration made on Aug 28, 2009 outlines the wrongdoing allegedly done by Musa when he was the police chief).