Senior KL graft-buster retires early, citing frustration

PUTRAJAYA • A senior official at Malaysia's anti-graft agency has opted for early retirement, telling local media he was frustrated that a case involving alleged loss of government funds did not go to court.

Datuk Bahri Mohd Zin was a director at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (Macc) which probed state fund SRC International over claims that RM42 million (S$13.5 million) of its money had ended up in the personal accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

But a Cabinet minister yesterday said not all Macc investigations would end up in court, and even if they did, not all cases ended up with convictions.

Mr Bahri, 58, told the Malaysiakini and Free Malaysia Today (FMT) news websites that he chose early retirement on Dec 16, instead of two years later as scheduled, due to the SRC case.

"I'm not only disappointed, but I also felt like I had sinned against 30 million Malaysians when the SRC case could not be taken to court," he told FMT.

Separately, he told Malaysiakini: "There was too much money lost. I should not serve in spider-web laws." Asked what he meant, he said it referred to laws that punished small offenders but allowed the bigger wrongdoers to escape. He declined to elaborate.

Prime Minister Najib has said he was unaware of any SRC funds in his accounts. Last year, Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali cleared Mr Najib in the SRC case.

Responding to Mr Bahri's claims, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan told FMT: "Macc's job is to investigate, but this doesn't mean it will lead to a prosecution.

"If the Attorney-General states that there is no merit for the case to be brought to court, then we have to believe that it was decided based on the facts presented to him."

Like 1Malaysia Development Bhd, SRC is a state fund set up for strategic investments but was embroiled in allegations about missing funds.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2017, with the headline 'Senior KL graft-buster retires early, citing frustration'. Print Edition | Subscribe