Recounting the days when he feared for his life in the wake of a clampdown on a probe into 1MDB and how attempts were made to stop him from blowing the lid on the sensitive graft investigation.
- Threat of being framed for toppling the government
- Trailed even in Washington
- Received bullets in the mail
On that fateful day in July 2015 when former MACC chief Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed was about to indict Datuk Seri Najib Razak, former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was removed from his position, new Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdull said at a packed tell-all press conference at the MACC headquarters yesterday.
“I met with him on Monday, a day before he was sacked. During that meeting, Gani asked me if I was ready, as they were going to execute the arrest on Wednesday. I told Gani that I was,” Shukri said.
The announcement of Gani’s termination came along with the reshuffling of the Cabinet that saw the sacking of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, both of whom had raised questions about 1MDB.
“When Gani was sacked, I received information from our intelligence that I would be arrested over accusations of conspiring to topple the government,” Shukri said.
He said that before he left for the US, he faced tremendous pressure.
“Some witnesses I interviewed had been taken away, and others from whom we recorded statements were investigated by other authorities.
“I was threatened with being sacked, was told to retire early and was even threatened to be sent to the training division,” he said.
Quietly, he prepared to urgently leave for Washington to bring up the 1MDB issue with US authorities.
“I’m a civil servant and graft-buster. I’m not trying to topple the government. So, on getting information that I would be arrested, I left for Washington on July 31, 2016.
“I disseminated false information that I was headed to Saudi Arabia and this caused the authorities here to place an Interpol red alert on me in Jeddah. When I reached Washington, I found out that there was an unknown individual trailing me.
“So, my team in Washington took a few pictures of the individual and handed it to me.
“I sent the pictures to MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki and told him to forward it to the Inspector-General of Police.
“I wanted to tell the IGP that his officer was stupid, because I should be the one following him, not the other way around!,” Shukri said.
Feeling unsafe in Washington, he went to New York where he met up with a contact whom he knew in Singapore.
“I was granted protection by the New York Police Department (NYPD) with three bodyguards for about a week.
“After feeling safe, I returned to Washington, only to find out that my officers had been arrested and two senior officers transferred to the Prime Minister’s Department – Datuk Bahri Mohd Zin and Datuk Rohaizad Yaakob,” he said.
It was in recounting this episode that Shukri broke down in tears, saying he felt guilty when he was told that his men who were working for him had been incarcerated.
“I felt helpless and was frustrated for failing to protect my men. I even cried in front of the Americans. Abu Kassim and I fought for the country to get back the money that was stolen from the Malaysian people. We wanted to help but we were accused of being involved in conspiracies and being traitors.
He said upon his return to Malaysia, he decided to retire from MACC, as he did not want to work under Dzulkefly Ahmad who was appointed to replace Abu Kassim Mohamed as the chief commissioner.
During his farewell speech, he hit out at an “individual” who had alleged that he was involved in a conspiracy to topple Najib and his administration.
Earlier, Shukri said he had received threats on his life during the course of MACC’s earlier investigation into SRC International and 1MDB in 2015.
Among them was receiving bullets in the mail “nearly every day”.
“But I’ve never told anyone about that until today.”
He said no police reports were lodged because he did not want to attract attention.
“I roughly know who the threats came from. I didn’t report it to the police then, but I might now.”
Meanwhile, police will look into the allegation that Shukri was threatened and intimidated when he investigated 1MDB.
Minister of Home Affairs Tan Sri Muhyiddin and Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the authorities will act if a report has been lodged on the matter.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday (May 22), Fuzi said that he was unaware of any (police) order linked to the allegation made by Shukri, as the events happened during the times when Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar was the IGP.
Shukri also alleged that then-Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had ordered for him to be followed while pursuing the same investigation in the United States.