Ex-MACC chief: I never quarrelled with Dr M over cases, no cover-ups

(MMO) – Former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull today declared that he never quibbled with the prime minister over corruption cases, also asserting that he had not covered-up any graft cases.

Shukri said he had, during his tenure of about a year as MACC chief, overseen the completion of many major cases involving VVIPs including 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and former 1MDB-unit SRC International Sdn Bhd.

“I can’t tell what more the public wants. I think I have done it all, so what else the public wants from me?

“So I have done my best until my exit, I exited with good intentions actually, to fulfil my promise with Tun. So there is no bad intention, and I have never quarrelled with Tun or political leaders about cases, never,” he told reporters in a news conference at the Everly Hotel in Putrajaya that was aired on Facebook.

In the same session, Shukri also noted the new government’s focus on fighting corruption.

“If we see Tun’s speeches, every time he will talk about corruption. The ministers also speak a lot about corruption, so it’s good for the government actually. So MACC supports leaders that work to prevent corruption, so there’s no problem,” he said regarding the Pakatan Harapan administration.

Shukri today sought to clear the air regarding the shortening of his two-year contract to about one year, which he said was what he had intended from the start when coming back after an early retirement and taking up the MACC chief position in May 2018.

Shukri said he had to come forward to tell the truth today, to dispel the false allegations and lies on social media against his shortening of his service as the country’s top graft-buster.

Shukri noted the false accusation of him being purportedly asked to leave the MACC for allegedly covering up cases involving Umno perosnalities and former ministers Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“As far as I remember, during my tenure as MACC’s chief, I think there were no files or investigations against Hishamuddin and Shahrizat,” he said, pointing out that the case of National Feedlot Corporation involving Shahrizat’s husband was investigated by the police instead of the MACC.

While saying it was possible that his officers did not inform him regarding Hishamuddin’s case, Shukri said he did not remember there being any files against the former minister.

“Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi’s case — he has already been charged, so what am I covering up?” he asked.

Shukri also addressed the allegation that he had purportedly received money from former attorney-general Tan Sri Apandi Ali and released the latter’s passport.

“That has nothing to do with me, the passport was released by the Immigration Department. Tan Sri Apandi made an application in court, so what is the connection to MACC, to me?

“I was also accused of receiving bribes from many Umno, PAS and PBB leaders, I’m telling here, it’s all baseless. In my 33 years of service, I didn’t take a single sen. I didn’t abuse a single sen of the government’s funds… so to accuse me of bribery, funds abuse, it’s very baseless,” he said, refuting claims that he was asked to step down.

Insisting that he had never covered up any corruption cases, Shukri said he had always instructed for the rule of law to be applied to all cases investigated by the MACC.

“Do the right thing. Do it right. So whoever tried to obstruct, tries to interfere, don’t bother, proceed until the end of the case. Whether to prosecute or not is the AG’s prerogative, MACC’s duty is to investigate until it is completed, nobody can interfere with MACC’s work,” he said.

Shukri also recounted the MACC’s successes under his leadership, noting that the number of arrests by the anti-graft body hit a historic high of almost 1,300 individuals from May 2018 to May 2019.

Those arrested included 30 VIP politicians or “big fish”, 30 CEOs of government-linked companies and those from the private sector, 13 high-ranking officials, he said, noting: “You see, the figures itself showed that we created a big record in one year.”

“So about the coming cases, don’t worry, the same officers will do the work and they will complete their duties as what they have done previously,” he said.

Noting that many high-profile cases have successfully been brought to court, Shukri noted that the MACC has achieved the highest conviction rate in history of 91 per cent for corruption cases in the past year.

Noting that the MACC’s achievements have been internationally recognised with foreign delegations coming over to learn from it and with invitations for international talks, Shukri called for a peaceful retirement.

“So please, I beg the public, let me leave MACC peacefully, I don’t want bad slander, let me, to be at peace with my family, because I have done the best I could to MACC and to the country. So all the allegations are baseless, I never did things like that,” he said.

Lawyer Latheefa Koya was appointed as Shukri’s successor on a two-year contract effective from June 1.