Wednesday, February 28, 2007

IGP Orders Probe Papers On ACA Director-General To Be Resubmitted To A-G

Police today resubmitted to the Attorney-General (A-G)'s Chambers investigation papers on sexual crimes and assault allegedly committed by Anti-Corruption Agency chief Datuk Zulkipli Mat Noor against a housewife in 1997.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hassan told TheSun, Kuala Lumpur police investigated the complaints lodged by the woman in the Dang Wangi station and later submitted investigations papers to the A-G Chambers.

However, Musa said, as the A-G Chambers had not reverted to the police on the next course of action, a fresh submission was made today. "Investigation into the report in 1997 was properly and orderly carried out and promptly filed with the A-G Chambers. We sent it again today and will wait for their reply," he said.

It is learnt the woman had submitted a 12-page report to the police, giving full details of her alleged affair with Zulkipli when he was then the Johor police chief and alleged physical abuse at his hands.

The allegations against Zulkipli, including for graft, were made by Movement for Democracy and Corruption chairman Ezam Mohd Noor. Ezam had on Monday (Feb 26) told a press conference an ACA officer Mohd Ramli Manan had discovered the allegations and had informed former the then IGP Tan Sri Bakri Omar in 2003, but no action was taken.

Ramli, who headed the agency in Sabah in 2002, also said Zulkipli had been investigated for the housewife's reports filed with police stations in Dang Wangi, Segambut and in Mambau, Negri Sembilan. He also claimed Zulkipli owned several business interests and properties, including six houses in Pagoh, Johor, and that he had misused government vehicles to check on properties and businesses.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, who heads the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity, said Zulkipli and those who made allegations against him would be asked to present their cases before the committee. He said Zulkipli would be called in by the committee in two weeks. "He should be given a chance to clear himself and not be tried by the media ... for even if the allegations are found to be baseless, it can tarnish the ACA chief's image.

"We also want him to reassure the committee if he can still continue to head the ACA and was comfortable doing so if the allegations are found to be baseless," said Dompok, adding that the 12-man committee had agreed to hold the inquiry on March 12.

Zulkipli was quoted by the New Straits Times today as saying the law should take its course. He also said such allegations were part and parcel of the agency's operations. "There are a lot of challenges in our line of work. Some people may be happy, some, of course, may not. The bottom line is justice must be done."

Interestingly, Zulkipli is an ex-officio member of the Select Committee.

There are three other permanent representatives (ex-officio) from the civil service - namely the Malaysian Administrative, Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu), Public Complaints Bureau and Housing and Local Government Ministry.

Dompok said the duty of the committee was only to determine if there were elements of integrity involved in the allegations, following which the committee would make the neccessary recommendations to parliament on how those issues should be addressed. "We are not a committee that makes a final decision or gives out punishment on what should be done to him," he said.

Asked if any of the recommendations would be made to the Prime Minister as the ACA comes under the Prime Minister's Department, he said if the need arose, he would do so, including to other ministries and government agencies.

Efforts to contact A-G Tan Sri Gani Patail and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan for comments on the status of investigation on Zulkipli failed.

The late Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah was the A-G from 1994-2000. (TheSun)

***** Hmmm. Old skeletons in the closet are slowly but surely coming out to haunt the perpetrators and those who shielded them. Let the law take its majestic course at least now and let the guilty be punished accordingly. That is the least a citizen of a democratic country should expect.
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