MACC must explain denial of Bahri’s claim
On Tuesday, former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) special operations division director Bahri Mohd Zin dropped a bombshell that set tongues wagging.
Slated to retire in 2019, Bahri announced he opted to bow out earlier due to his disappointment over the SRC International Sdn Bhd investigation, which did not culminate in a prosecution.
Several hours later, MACC issued a statement, claiming it had contacted Bahri and the latter denied stating he was disappointed over the SRC issue.
Similarly, MACC deputy chief of operations Azam Baki also dismissed reports that Bahri allegedly made the decision “as he felt as if he had sinned 30 million Malaysians”.
“We have contacted him and he has denied issuing such statement to the news portal,” Azam had said.
The MACC statement and Azam’s remarks implied that the media reports were fabricated, despite the existence of records and text communication between the reporters and Bahri.
Apart from Malaysiakini, which first broke the news quoting a source and later obtained a confirmation from Bahri, several other media organisations also reported the matter.
These included news portal Free Malaysia Today, Malay daily Sinar Harian and Sin Chew Daily, whose reporters spoke directly to the former MACC division chief.
So, is MACC suggesting the existence of a concerted effort between several media organisations to publish a fake report?
Late that night, Malaysiakini received an email from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) instructing the portal to remove its articles on Bahri that it said were were deemed fake, based on the MACC statement.
However, this instruction was retracted the next morning.
When Malaysiakini contacted Bahri on the MACC statement, the former director cautioned others not to speak on his behalf and confuse the people.
He also promised to issue a statement soon, and to respond to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan, who argued that the SRC matter did not go to court because there was no ground to do so.
In the Sin Chew report, Bahri was quoted as claiming that he was disappointed because despite evidence being found in the SRC case, the matter was not taken to court.
Detractors have attempted to link Bahri to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his campaign to topple Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his integrity.
Regardless of whether Bahri possesses a political motive or otherwise, MACC must explain the reason for claiming that its former director had denied making such a statement and discrediting the media reports.
SRC, which was previously a subsidiary of 1MDB and is now under the Finance Ministry, came under the spotlight after RM42 million of its money was found in Najib’s personal bank account.
The SRC money was deposited into Najib’s account in two transactions – on Dec 26, 2014 and Feb 10, 2015 – after being routed through two companies, Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd.