A MALAYSIAKINI EXCLUSIVE Could underworld figures have influence over the promotion and transfer of police personnel when the force was under the leadership of inspector-general of police Musa Hassan?
In another bizarre twist to the ‘Copgate' scandal, new allegations that another shadowy figure identified as BK Tan - who was suspected to have links with Johor underworld figure Tengku Goh - had advised Musa on several occasions relating to the promotion and transfer of senior police officers.
Musa (far right), along with attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail and the then Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), were earlier alleged to have framed rival top cop, former Commercial Crimes Investigation Department director Ramli Yusuff, and six of his men. The seven police officers were arrested and charged in court five years ago.
In the latest allegation, sources told Malaysiakini that Musa would call Tan for "advice" and at times the latter visited Musa's house in Petaling Jaya for discussions on key appointments and transfers in the police force.
According to the sources, Musa when asked had explained that Tan's participation came with the blessings of the then Internal Security Ministry because his underworld links would help identify the "good" from "bad" cops.
One source claimed that he had seen Musa's aide carrying a blue document containing the confidential list of officers to be transferred or promoted. Musa was alleged to have provided a copy of the top secret document to Tan.
Home Ministry informed
It is learnt that Musa's former aide de camp, ASP Noor Azizul Rahim Taharim, had brought this troubling matter to the attention of then minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad and deputy internal security minister Johari Baharum.
Another informant told Malaysiakini that Tengku Goh, whose real name is Goh Cheng Poh, had met Musa at his hotel room in Johor Baru sometime in 2005 or 2006, and this was confirmed by Noor Azizul.
Musa was accused to have promoted officers who were loyal to him as well as those who tacitly support his close cooperation with the alleged underworld figures.
The line of succession was allegedly orchestrated to ensure Musa could continue his tenure as the country's police chief. Musa held the post for four years, from 2006 to 2010.
He was reported to have been upset when his term was not extended further, and at one time describing his potential successor, Ismail Omar, as not ready to occupy his seat.
Ramli (centre) told Malaysiakini yesterday that Musa's aide Noor Azizul had informed him about his boss' alleged underworld links.
"ASP Noor Azizul Rahim told me about this, and this confirmed my suspicion of Musa that he together with the AG was out to fix me. This was to ensure I would be eliminated from the police hierarchy," he said.
"All my fears and suspicions have been proven true by the flimsy charges laid against me. Musa even went to the extent of appearing as the 75th witness in my Sabah case.
"In the end, Musa was regarded an untruthful witness when he tried to contradict the evidence of all the other police witnesses," he said.
Ramli also recalled how Noor Azizul had met several senior police officers, including Musa's deputy Mohd Najib Abdul Aziz and two members of the Police Force Commission, for help but to no avail.
Following this, the frustrated Noor Azizul, who was Musa's personal aide from 2005 to 2007, made a statutory declaration on the matter sometime in 2009, said Ramli.
A copy of Noor Azizul's SD eventually found itself in the public domain, including blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin's Malaysia Today website.
In his SD, Noor Azizul said he was aware of the sworn declarations of several police officers and police informants and their actions in revealing Musa's links with Tengku Goh and Tan.
"Based on my personal knowledge and involvement as the ADC (aide de camp) to the IGP, I can confirm the statements made by these deponents concerning Musa are true and do correctly reflect the events as described by them...
"I have personal knowledge and involvement in that I was asked as ADC to compile and co- ordinate such posting orders based on the drafts and proposals made by Tan.
"A copy of the draft was subsequently implemented as police posting orders," he said in his statutory declaration.
Orders to frame police officers
Noor Azizul said the transfers were justified as part of a campaign to root out corruption in the force. It included entrapment to make the affected officers appear guilty of wrongdoings.
"This gave the impression that Musa was eradicating corruption and abuses within the force whereas it is the farthest from the truth.
"The credibility of these officers would be demolished to such an extent that whatever information they had gathered about the IGP would be discredited.
"These officers would suffer hardships, like being transferred away from their family and home base," he said.
"Some of the other agonies inflicted on them were being by-passed for promotions, subjected to disciplinary action minus due process; subordinates with unproven records promoted over them and victimised officers serving as visible warnings of the consequences of defying the 'established' order."
The former ADC said the ‘mencantas' (trimming the opposition) campaign had led to low moral in the force, resulting in the crime rate soaring during Musa's time.
"Not long after that the AG ordered Tengku Goh's release. Many in PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police) became demoralised seeing how a criminal was released by resorting to legal niceties whereas our own brother officers were dragged to court," he lamented.
"I hope the minister and the government give me protection for this disclosure as it is made with the hope of improving the force in expectation of a new leadership era under Ismail Omar (the present IGP)," he said in his SD.
Former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission panel member Robert Phang (left), when contacted by Malaysiakini, confirmed that Noor Azizul had approached him when he was Musa's aide de camp, and together they met a former IGP, seeking his help on the matter.
Noor Azizul ready to tell all
In 2009, Musa turned down a Malaysiakini request for a response to Noor Azizul's SD, and there has been no reply from him over the past few days in relation to this new allegation.
In recent weeks, Malaysiakini has managed to contact Noor Azizul, who is now attached to a ministry, to verify the contents of his SD, which he did.
But he declined to comment about the issue further, saying that he would prefer to testify before a tribunal should there be one.
Malaysiakini had reported that a number of former and serving police officers were willing to testify against Abdul Gani, Musa and the ACA if a tribunal was called.
The Copgate affair appears to be akin to the Lingam tape scandal where a senior lawyer was alleged to have brokered the appointment of judges. It resulted in the setting up of a royal commission of inquiry.
The new allegation made in the Copgate affair is no less damaging as it involves, among others, the claim of an underworld figure exerting influence over the promotion and transfer of police officers.
However, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had last Friday dismissed calls for a tribunal.
"This is an allegation which has to be substantiated," he said.