Shukri’s stepping down as MACC Chief Commissioner highlights what he said about the genesis of the Week of Long Knives in his “Tell All” press conference last year which should form the basis of police investigation on the former Attorney-General Mohd Apandi Ali
Mohd Shukri Abdull’s stepping down as Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner highlights what he said about the genesis of Black Tuesday on July 28, 2015 and the “Week of Long Knives” in July/August 2015, which should form the basis of police investigation on the former Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohd Apandi Ali.
In his “Tell All” press conference in May last year after he returned as MACC Chief Commissioner, Shukri broke down when he recounted his time running away from Malaysian authorities to the United States.
This was after his former boss Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed decided to indict former premier Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak for his kleptocracy.
Shukri said when Abu Kassim asked him if he was prepared to face the consequences of taking action against a sitting prime minister, he replied that he was willing to take the risk in order to serve the country.
However, he claimed that on the day Abu Kassim wanted to charge Najib, the then attorney general Abdul Gani Patail was removed from his position, and this was followed by a cabinet reshuffle.
Amid this, Shukri left for Washington on July 31, 2015, to raise the 1MDB issue, but had deliberately released misleading information that he was headed to Saudi Arabia.
According to him, there were people waiting to arrest him in Jeddah, and he was tailed in Washington.
He revealed that the police wanted to arrest him for conspiring against the government back in 2015.
But the MACC had its own intelligence squad.
When he (former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail) was sacked, he received information that he would be arrested for a 'conspiracy to topple the government' in relation to the investigation into the RM2.6 billion in former premier Najib Abdul Razak's bank accounts.
Shukri said all he and his former boss Abu Kassim Mohamed wanted to do was retrieve stolen funds.
"We fought for the people to get back money that was stolen, but we were accused of being traitors," he said.
After arriving in Washington DC, he then went to New York where he was placed under police protection.
Shukri said at the press conference last year that prior to Gani's dismissal, the MACC had a meeting with the then attorney-general on July 27.
"Tan Sri (Gani) asked me, 'Are you ready?'. As a senior investigator, I understood what he meant.
"He said on Wednesday we will execute (our plans). I said 'Yes I am ready'.
"But the next day on Tuesday, I was having a meeting in Kuala Lumpur when I received news that Gani had been terminated."
Shukri said yesterday in a text message that his mission in returning to the MACC last year had been accomplished and that he had placed MACC on the right track with all officers united in battling corruption, with strong support from the public.
The MACC should not, however, be a victim of complacency, for the task of transforming Malaysia from a global kleptocracy into a leading nation of integrity is just on the beginning stage, and there is no guarantee that this transformation would be a success without continuing and unremitting anti-corruption efforts.
Yes, the MACC has put several kleptocrats in the past year on trial. But before the kleptocrats roamed the land, there were sharks which were also responsible for Malaysia occupying the lowly place of No. 61 in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index 2018,.
Is the MACC prepared to make the second year of the historic change of Malaysia in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 the year against “sharks” just like the Chinese were going after the “tigers” and the Indonesians going after the “crocodiles” after the first year of the Pakatan Harapan government focussing on the “kleptocrats”?
Shukri struck a deep chord among patriotic Malaysians when he admitted at a public forum last November that he felt so embarrassed about Malaysia's corruption levels when on a trip abroad in 2016 that he pretended to be an Indonesian national.
Malaysia’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) was 52 percent in 2014, what he described as “a barely passable score, like a C-grade”.
In 2015, Malaysia’s score reduced to 50. It went down to 49 percent in 2016 and in 2017, we obtained 47 percent," he said.
Shukri admitted that when someone asked him in English where he was from, he was ashamed to say he was from Malaysia, so he said he was an Indonesian.
Shukri remarked: "That was our state of (corruption) at that time."
That was the experience of all patriotic Malaysians until the historic decision of May 9, 2018 except for the Hadi leadership of PAS, which gladly embraced Najib’s kleptocratic premiership.
Ordinary patriotic Malaysians had a sense of shame, and they were so ashamed of Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy that they avoided admitting they were Malaysians, claiming that they came from somewhere in the region except from Malaysia.
Shukri said it was “shameful” that Malaysia was known to the world as a 'kleptocracy' (due to the 1MDB scandal), not a country with integrity.
He preferred to be honest about the state of corruption in Malaysia, instead of sugarcoating the issue.
He said: "Often when people ask if the corruption in Malaysia was improving or getting worse, the speaker (from MACC) would say it is under control.
"I don’t like to say anything that is not true. I’d rather spell it out frankly."
The question is whether MACC and the Federal Government realise that it is a great mistake to think that the corruption trials of the former Prime Minister and a few kleptocrats of the former administration signify that Malaysia is firmly on the road to becoming a top nation of integrity and that Malaysia is still a long way from a position where Malaysians can feel proud as Malaysians because of our public integrity record.