Did Dr. M influence police investigation during Musa’s time?
PETALING JAYA – The revelations of former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan regarding political intervention in police work continues to stir the hornet’s nest.
In the latest twist to the saga, a former high-ranking police officer criticised Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein over the latter’s reaction and also roped in Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
In an open letter to Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar, copies of which were also sent to Hishammuddin and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, Mat Zain Ibrahim recalled Mahathir’s role in the investigation concerning a book which contained a slew of allegations against Anwar Ibrahim.
The book, which cited 50 reasons why Anwar should not become prime minister, was the catalyst for the subsequent sacking and jailing of the ex-deputy prime minister.
Mat Zain, the former Kuala Lumpur CID chief, pointed out that Mahathir, who was then both prime minister and home minister, had admitted in his memoirs, “A Doctor in the House”, of having interfered in the investigation concerning the book.
“In Chapter 53, he explains his role when the police were investigating the book, clearly proving that he not only interfered in the probe but also issued orders to Musa Hassan, to the point that it is believed to have influenced the outcome of the investigation.
“Mahathir admitted interviewing several witnesses at his official residence in Sri Perdana. Among them was star witness [in Anwar’s sodomy trial] Azizan Abu Bakar and four women,” he said.
Mat Zain said it is believed that Musa had briefed Mahathir that the women were prostitutes who were, through the connection of businessman KS Nallakaruppan, used for the sexual gratification of a particular VIP.
“If these prostitutes were willing to have sex with anyone for a fee, then they would also be willing to admit having sex with anyone or provide any witness testimony required, as long as they get paid.
“What more if the prime minister himself guaranteed their personal safety and to keep their identities a secret as well as other benefits,” he added.
Mahathir had vested interest
Mahathir himself, Mat Zain said, revealed that he had control over the investigation and witnesses.
“He gave the assurance that he would instruct the police to bring the witnesses to Sri Perdana again if the chief ministers, menteris besar and state Umno liaison committee chairmen wanted to interview them.
“Musa should have objected and prevented Mahathir from having access to the witnesses, what more take them to Sri Perdana.
“Musa must have realised that Mahathir had a vested interest in the probe on the premise of being the Umno president, home minister and prime minister who was being challenged [at the time],” he said.
“Whether indirectly or directly, Mahathir had placed undue mental stress on the witnesses. By having this confidential meeting and striking whatever deals with these prostitues in Sri Perdana, Mahathir had tainted the good name of the prime minister’s official residence,” he added.
Anwar had always maintained that the charges against him were trumped up by Mahathir and his confidants, a charge which the former premier denied.
Hisham should investigate
Meanwhile, Mat Zain said he hoped Hishammuddin would not dimiss this episode as something personal between Musa and Mahathir therefore negating the need for his intervention.
He was referring to the home minister’s statement that the crisis between Musa and former Commercial Crimes Department director Ramli Yusuff was a personal matter.
On the contrary, Mat Zain said Hishammuddin should identify the root cause of the problem between the two former senior policemen.
He also noted that the disclosures of both Musa and Ramli pointed to criminal wrongdoings.
“Whatever the public perception is towards Musa, his allegations as the former IGP on ministerial interference in police work, especially by Hishammuddin, must be given serious attention.
“Hishammuddin’s question as to why Musa is making the claims only now is not something that a home minister should ask,” he said, adding that the minister should know that there was no time limit to expose criminal wrongdoings.