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Phang: “I will surely sue him.He destroyed my reputation”

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KUALA LUMPUR  –  Tan Sri Robert Phang has confirmed plans to sue Tan Sri Musa Hassan for defamation, insisting the former Inspector-General of Police had destroyed his reputation by accusing him of power abuse during his tenure as an anti-graft panel adviser.

In the latest twist to the saga involving former top ranking police officers, Phang told The Malaysian Insider that he had agreed to proceed with the suit following Musa’s ensuing silence after making the accusations.

“Yes, I will surely sue him. He destroyed my reputation. I have discussed this with my lawyers,” Phang said in an interview here. “I waited three days but there was nothing… so I will proceed with the suit,” he added.

Musa, who has been in the limelight of late for his barrage of revelations on power abuse in the police force, had recently accused Phang of abusing his authority to transfer a senior police officer in order to speed up the deployment of a project backed by him.

“(Phang) threatened the officer: if you don’t commission (this project), you will be transferred in 24 hours.

“If someone from the public can threaten a policeman … he must have powers in the police force,” Musa had claimed.

The project in 2009 was allegedly to upgrade the analogue communications system used by the police to a digital Motorola system, and according to Musa was worth hundreds of millions of ringgit.

He had described the officer transferred as an expert in communications, ranking “higher than assistant commissioner of police (ACP)”, holding a datukship, and is still in the force.

When making the accusation, Musa reasoned that he was only revealing the abuse now as a response to Phang’s earlier allegation that the ex-IGP is backed by crime syndicates.

“I don’t want to shame others, but people are shaming me … (But) this is not a retaliation,” he added.

But Phang, a former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) panel adviser, took a swipe at Musa’s integrity today, pointing out that during the trial of Datuk Ramli Yusoff, the judge in the case had said the ex-IGP could not be trusted.

“If a court said that in the past, what more can I say?” Phang said.

The outspoken man also refuted another of Musa’s accusation which claimed that he had once sought to be an adviser to Tun Hanif Omar, another former IGP.

He pointed out that Hanif had confirmed as much in a statement carried yesterday on Internet news portal Free Malaysia Today.

“I’ve never had an adviser. Lots of people advised me on things like the shortest way to a shop, how to avoid jams.”

“If Musa allegedly said that Phang had introduced himself as my adviser, then that is between the two of them. So you get the clarification from them. Who appointed him? And what kind of remuneration did he receive?” Hanif was quoted as saying by the portal.

Phang also denied any intention to insult Musa’s MyWatch group but said his biggest problem was with the former IGP using the NGO as a platform to voice his personal opinions.

“He wants people to see and hear him again. He is suffering from withdrawal symptoms… but if so, I suggest that he sees a psychiatrist to get medication or his health will suffer.

“I pray for his speedy recovery,” he said in sarcasm.

Phang had yesterday refused demands from Musa to apologise for allegedly linking MyWatch to criminal organisations, and said he was ready instead to meet the latter in court.

On Tuesday, Musa had reportedly said he will take legal action against Phang if he fails to apologise within three days for his allegations that MyWatch has criminal links.  –  MD