Something amiss, IGP Khalid

 |Aug 7, 2016
The three Tan Sris should be probed on their alleged involvement in a conspiracy that included foreign elements to topple a legitimate prime minister.
The three Tan Sris should be probed on their alleged involvement in a conspiracy that included foreign elements to topple a legitimate prime minister.

Umno Youth vice chief Khairul Azwan Harun’s police report on July 26 against three ‘Tan Sris’ may have raised many eyebrows.

But the bigger shocker was the Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar’s swift decision to close the case as “no further action” (NFA).

No investigation papers! Khairul’s allegations will not be probed further.

Something amiss here.

Many wonder on what basis the IGP Khalid just dismissed a police report of such magnitude as “hearsay.”

Khairul Azwan had reportedly claimed to have in his possession evidence relating to the involvement of former Bank Negara Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed and former Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail in a plot to overthrow the Malaysian government and Prime Minister Najib Razak.

In his report lodged at the Dang Wangi police station, Khairul had accused the trio of deliberately falsifying, distorting and disseminating confidential information to agencies, notably the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).

Speculations have been rife that the three former top government officers had given out certain classified documents to DOJ without the sanction of Putrajaya.

But Khalid was fast in shutting the case without any investigation. Why?

“We have recorded his statement and we found Khairul Azwan made the report based on assumptions. He could not submit any evidence to support what is stated in the police report,” said Khalid.

A lawyer argued that the case was virtually unprecedented as the country had hardly heard any case previously that high profile government officers been probed for disseminating classified information to foreign agencies or, committing treason or espionage.

Even if the three Tan Sris had handed over relevant documents to foreign agencies to assist an investigation, he said it would have been difficult to establish a strong case the trio.

“Being top officers, the trio can actually provide certain documents to foreign agencies to assist certain investigations. It’s would be on government-to-government basis.

“But then it also depends on the type of documents,” said the lawyer, adding that a thorough police investigation into Khairul’s report would have shed some light on the allegations.

Public skepticism is on the IGP Khalid’s shot gun speed to brush aside Khairul’s report.

It has baffled all.

Khairul said Khalid’s decision had now put the case in a “Mexican standoff”, which means a deadlock between two or more parties.

What the IGP Khalid should have done, notwithstanding on whether there was evidence or not, was that to allow proper investigation to be carried out on such a politically sensitive report.

He should have allowed the deputy public prosecutor (DPP) office or even the Attorney-General (AG) Chambers, not him, to make the decision to whether press a charge or not on the trio.

Khalid should have been more discreet.

A police report claiming a conspiracy to topple a legitimately elected prime minister and federal government, and three high profile government officers of deliberately falsifying, distorting and disseminating confidential information to foreign agencies is a serious allegation.

The report demands instinctive probe, not rebuff.

Indeed the report demands a special task force to investigate the allegations.

Khairul has said he had evidence to substantiate his claims.

Did Khalid see the evidence before making his decision?

IGP Khalid dismissed Umno youth vice chief Khairul's report against the three Tan Sris as "hearsay" in lightning speed time .
IGP Khalid dismissed Umno youth vice chief Khairul’s report against the three Tan Sris as “hearsay” in lightning speed time .

If Khairul Azwan lodged a police report based on assumption or hearsay, then he could be investigated under Section 182 of the Penal Code for making a false police report.

The police report and subsequent statements by Khairul Azwan on the alleged plot to topple the prime minister is tantamount to criminal defamation under Section 499 of the Penal Code.

But Khalid decided not to charge Khairul either.

Khalid’s NFA decision obviously had given a huge sigh of relief for the three Tan Sris, who would have thought that they were going to end up at least in the accused dock.

If they were charged, they could have faced accusations for breaching the Official Secrets Act 1972, committing espionage, treason, conspiring with foreign agencies to topple a legitimate government, compromising the nation’s security and safety and the list goes on.

Some quarters claimed that had the investigation proceeded then it would have had exposed other secrets as well, secrets that the trio did not want to be out.

It’s learnt that when Khairul lodged the police report, two pre-arranged press conferences, apparently by the Tan Sris at Abu Kassim’s farewell dinner and former Premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Jakarta, were called off.

The proposed annual ‘yellow’ street festival – Bersih 5.0, also took a backseat.

The two press conferences, plus the yellow festival, were all apparently designed to purge Najib.

Khairul report has allegedly buried the press conferences.

But following Khalid’s NFA, noises for Bersih 5.0 have been reactivated.

Is it a coincidence?

Over the past two years, certain media reports claimed that six Tan Sris were involved in a conspiracy to oust Najib as the prime minister.

Apart from Zeti, Gani and Abu Kassim, IGP Khalid was frequently named as part of that conspiracy.

Neither Khalid nor others have ever denied the allegation.

Public suspicion grows now on whether Khalid closed the chapter on Khairul’s report to stop any attempt to unearth this alleged conspiracy and his own role in it.

If Khalid had allowed Khairul’s report to be probed without fear or favour, all these questions could have found some answers.

That would have given a much needed new lease of life to all.

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Athi Shankar has been a journalist for past 30 years. He believes that democratic rights come with responsibility.