If not Dzulkifli, who ordered the MACC to arrest Shafie Apdal and 10 other Warisan leaders?
I had not expected my retort to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner, Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad, to take effect so fast.
On 28th September, I had replied to Dzulkifli who said a day earlier that people were watching me to judge my commitment and seriousness towards fighting corruption and abuse of power.
I observed that I had been watched by the people for the 52 years I had been involved in politics, and reminded Dzulkifli that the people were watching him whether he will be the head of the world’s first “kleptocratic” anti-corruption agency.
I never expected that the people’s “watch” on the MACC Chief Commissioner would within a month become a supreme test, which caused Dzulkifli to disappear from the public limelight in past 12 days except for a highly problematic statement four days ago, although he was dominating the public limelight almost on a daily basis previously.
Let us focus on the four-day remand of the Parti Warisan Sabah president, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal on his 60th birthday, in connection with MACC investigations into alleged misappropriation of at least RM1.5 billion in rural development funds intended for Sabah and the MACC arrest of Shafie’s two younger brothers and a number of other Warisan leaders.
In May this year, Dzulkifli announced that MACC would not take action against corrupt politicians before the 14th general elections as it does not want such cases be used as campaign tool or capital by any parties.
He said: "I have made a decision that MACC will not take any actions now against politicians because I do not want MACC to be dragged into politics and used as a campaign tool or fodder by any parties.
"We all know that even if the MACC were to act against the politicians before the general elections, it would not be a deterrent for them to contest or hold on to a post.
"So let all these political parties contest in a fair manner based on their capabilities and their track record of serving the people."
However, he cautioned all political parties to ensure that their candidates are free from corruption and abuse of power, or risk actions by the MACC after the election is over.
He was roundly criticized by the Pakatan Harapan parties for this stand but Dzulkifli held his ground, reiterating his promise to net corrupt politicians after the general elections and urged critics to be patient.
He said: "There is no issue of 'pilih kasih' (favouritism), it's about timing. If we take action straightaway, then that's favouritism."
Why then was Shafie Apdal and some 10 political officials from Warisan arrested by MACC, if Dzulkifli had decided - right or wrong - that MACC would not act against any politician before the next general election, when the case involving Shafie goes back to 2015 and before?
Without going into the merits and demerits of the case, is this a blatant example of MACC discriminatory and selective persecution where the MACC has been “weaponised” against the opponents of the UMNO/BN coalition as alleged by the DAP Sabah Secretary and Assemblyman for Sri Tanjong, Chan Foong Hin?
Or had the MACC Chief Commissioner been completely overruled, and what happened was what Tun Mahathir wrote in his blog yesterday, alleging that the arrest of and probe into Shafie Apdal was Najib Razak's doing and was meant to weaken the opposition party, Warisan.
If not Dzulkifli who gave the instruction, who ordered the MACC to arrest Shafie Apdal and 10 other Warisan leaders?
Let Dzulkifi speak up!