Saturday, December 24, 2011

Khir Toyo Smiles

Look at the photo above and see former Selangor Mentri Besar Khir Toyo beaming broadly after he was found guilty of corruption and abuse of power by the High Court on Friday. Of course the mainstream press, e.g. The Star gave him the mild treatment – that he was charged with “knowingly purchasing two pieces of land and a bungalow in Section 7 [Shah Alam] at a much lower price than its original value from Ditamas Sdn Bhd director Shamsuddin Hayroni in 2007" (December 24, 2011, p 01).

And according to the New Straits Times, Justice Mohtarudin Baki even concurred with the prosecution that Khir Toyo had committed a heinous crime and demanded that public interest be given priority (December 24, 2011, p 08) – yet Khir Toyo was sentenced to just twelve months’ jail.

Is the High Court judge serious about curbing corruption? Why the very lenient sentence? Khir Toyo should be slapped the maximum custodial sentence. What a crap!

I recall a mother stealing infant formula for her baby and she was jailed 18 months. I also read that somebody mentioned that in The Star in May 2011 there was a case of an unemployed man who was jailed for two years for shampoo theft.

Now I know why Khir Toyo can afford to smile – his illicit amassment of wealth incurred only token punishment. Already his lead counsel M Athimulan had promptly filed a notice of appeal after the judgment was delivered.

The other scandalous event also got into the news.

I suppose after all that heat on the NFC, the MACC was finally compelled to take some action. So on Friday, their officers raided the NFC office in plush Solaris Mont Kiara. They questioned staff and then carted away a desktop computer’s CPU and four documents in just under two hours.

The authorities have already detained a businessman, said to be a Datuk, for questioning in relation to the case as well as allegedly attempting to bribe senior CCID officers believed to be involved in the NFC probe. I wrote “authorities” because initial reports said it was the police who apprehended this guy but then later, the MACC also claimed to have rermanded this same person.

I am therefore, predictably confused because I am now not even sure where the guy is. It is possible that we may read one morning that if he is found dead in the lock-up – we can ascertain that the police had him; and if he is found dead in an open courtyard, the MACC had him; or is it that they did have him but they let him slipped! Pray, this is just a crazy conjecture on my part!

And of course, the other possibility is that Shahrizat will quit anytime soon and the NFC debacle will be explained away as just one big misunderstanding between the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry, the Finance Ministry and Agroscience Industries Sdn Bhd – the NFC owners. We can only hope that the authorities will investigate if there is a case of collusion in granting the project and/or the soft loan of RM250 million, besides the other obvious matters of criminal breach of trust and corruption. But I am not hopeful!

But then again we must remember that this is Malaysia. So Malaysia Boleh, kan?

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