The revelations are coming thick and fast – none more disturbing nor heart-wrenching than the press conference on Tuesday held by Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull.
In a gripping 45-minute news conference at the impressive, expensive, ship-shaped MACC headquarters in Putrajaya, the newly appointed MACC chief revealed how the investigations into the affairs of SRC International– a unit of 1MDB – in 2015 was stymied by inducements, advice and the threats of bodily harm if not death.
This was no ordinary news conference. Over in a different part of the building, ousted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was being grilled by a team on the affairs of SRC in private earlier in the morning. So when the media scrum moved to the Datuk Shukri’s news conference close to noon, the atmosphere was pregnant with expectation. In the event, Datuk Shukri did not disappoint.
He revealed how he at first was reluctant to accept Tun Mahathir’s request to return and head the MACC for which he left to retire in a huff back in July 2016.
Shukri had then found his position as Deputy Chief commissioner – effectively the anti-corruption body’s Number Two untenable – having to serve under an appointee parachuted in the Attorney General’s chambers he unhesitatingly labelled a traitor.
It was in one of the meetings that the politician – who is widely known for expressing the credo that Cash Is King – brazenly asked him; “Datuk nak apa?”
The option to go on early retirement followed his best efforts to persuade the relevant authorities that there was enough evidence of wrongdoing all leading to the door of the ex-Prime Minister himself.
This included seeking an audience with the Council of Rulers to present MACC’s findings and a recommendation to act but which came to naught.
Interestingly, he also recounted how a politician from a northern state came as an emissary to see him with the offer of inducement to back off.
It was in one of the meetings that the politician – who is widely known for expressing the credo that Cash Is King – brazenly asked him; “Datuk nak apa?” (What does Datuk want). After repeating that inducement a second time, Shukri sternly told him off with a: “Sekali lagi Datuk tanya macam ini, saya akan tangkap!” (The next time you make the same offer, I will arrest you!).
The harassment of Shukri too a sinister turn when he jetted off to the United States as part of his investigations into SRC and noticed that he was tailed by three men. He sought the help of some law enforcers in New York and broke down in tears in admitting to them that he stood accused of trying to bring down the Malaysian government.
He also revealed that he received a bullet upon his return home which was the straw that broke the camel’s back leading to his eventual decision to opt for early retirement.
Now that he has made a comeback to head the organisation for which he had given more than three decades of sterling service, Shukri will show the true mettle of the MACC.
So moved were the posse of journalists by his revelations that they broke into applause at the end of the news conference.