MACC officer admits top officials gave orders
By Debra Chong/MALAYASIAN INSIDER
SHAH ALAM, Aug 25 — Anti-graft investigator Mohd Anuar Ismail told the coroner’s court today that top Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officials had ordered him to step up investigations into allegations that Selangor assemblymen misused public funds.
He named the senior officials as Selangor MACC deputy director Hishamuddin Hashim and investigations unit chief Hairul Ilham Hamzah.
One of them was named in a mystery letter alleging political collusion in investigating the Pakatan Rakyat state government.
Mohd Anuar, 32, is the 16th witness in the inquest into political aide Teoh Beng Hock's death on July 16 at the MACC office in Plaza Masalam here.
Previously a lawyer, he had gone through six months of training at a police college in Kuala Kubu Baru before joining the MACC.
Teoh was earlier interrogated for nearly 10 hours before he was found dead the morning he was to register his marriage to his two-month pregnant fiancee.
The MACC investigator also admitted to Teoh family lawyer Gobind Singh Deo that it was unusual to question people into the wee hours of the morning.
He also told the court that he did not check if Teoh's lawyer M. Manoharan had turned up to be present during the interrogation. Gobind claimed Manoharan had waited an hour at the MACC office.
[Teoh’s family arriving for the inquest this morning. — Picture by Choo Choy May]
Teoh’s family arriving for the inquest this morning. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Gobind: Why did you need to question the witness at night?
Mohd Anuar: That's normal practice.
Gobind: Don't be silly. If I asked you to climb a tree, will you do it? I'm asking you why?
Mohd Anuar: To hasten the investigation.
Mohd Anuar: [after hesitating] Because the issue had become sensitive.
Gobind: What issue?
Mohd Anuar: The issue on the allocation of state assemblymen. Because the newspapers were publishing it every day.
The MACC man's reply drew a snide remark from Gobind before he continued his heated interrogation of the witness.
Gobind: You were directed to bring them in and get confessions from them?
Mohd Anuar: No.
Gobind: Please! You're on oath here.
Mohd Anuar: [hesitates] Ya.
Gobind: Who directed you?
Mohd Anuar: There were two people.
Gobind: Who are they?
Mohd Anuar: The deputy director Tuan Hishamuddin Hashim and Tuan Hairul Ilham.
Gobind: Who is he?
Mohd Anuar: Head of investigations unit.
Gobind seemed satisfied that he succeeded in extracting some names from Mohd Anuar, but couldn't seem to stop from pointing out that the MACC investigator who had been asked to step up the investigations had been “sleeping all night”, causing the public gallery to erupt into chuckles — even drawing a smile on the magistrate's face — and a faint protest from the witness.
MACC legal affairs director Datuk Abdul Razak Musa objected to Gobind's line of questioning and later called the inquest a “kangaroo court”.
Coroner magistrate Azmil Munthapa Abas asked Gobind to “soften” his manner of questioning the witness.