First and foremost I convey my deepest condolences to the family of the late Teoh Beng Hock who was found dead near the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission Shah Alam office. I don't want to speculate on how and why he died. But after having the experience of being questioned by the MACC myself I just cannot dismiss the idea there are people out there who wants or want him dead.
I had the experience of twice being interrogated (if that is the correct word) by the then Anti Corruption Agency or better known by its Malay acronym of BPR for Badan Pencegah Rasuah. But don't worry my friends, because just like the late Teoh I was called as a witness. I was not the suspect in either case.
The first time I was called was more than twenty years ago. One of my subordinates was suspected of preparing false overtime claims for his workers. When the actual money was paid he was suspected of sharing them with his workers on a 50-50 basis, so the story went . Those days the salary and overtime payment for the lower rank workers were paid in cash. I was one of the paying officers.
I was called by the BPR and made to answer a few questions. I was asked whether I saw with my own eyes that this particular subordinate and his workers exchanged money after I paid them. The BPR officer recorded my statement using a typewriter. Of course I answered 'no' since I knew it would be stupid for anybody to exchange ill-gotten money in front of any witness.
This particular subordinate was quite angry with me for corroborating (again if that is the right word) with the BPR. I simply told him that I told the BPR the truth as far as I was concerned. My truth was I did not see any money transaction between him and his workers.
But the fact that he was angry only made my suspicous. I think the BPR did not pursue the matter because my subordinate was never charged. I never bothered whether he was called by them the way they called me. My subordinate died a few years after that incident.
My second time being called by the BPR was about two years ago. This time it did not invlove any member of my own department. They were after a police officer who was suspected of making a false claim of staying in a hotel when he did not. The BPR's suspicion was simple, the hotel had changed name but the police officer made his claim using a receipt with the hotel's old name.
So I was called again by the BPR after a lapse of more than twenty years. This time the BPR is housed in a new complex but on the exact same spot where I was interrogated the first time. While their new complex was being built their staff were housed temporarily opposite the town's wet market.
This time the interrogating officer used a laptop computer when asking his questions. Again I answered his questions truthfully. He even asked asked me to coax the hotel manager to see him and gave his statement as he was not being cooperative like me. I simply told him I could not do that.
Again I think the BPR and now the MACC have no case against this police officer as I was never called again by them.
During both times when I was interrogated by the BPR I had this fear in me that I was endangering myself. Both times I was not the suspect. Just like the late Teoh I was just a witness. Again like Teoh I gave my fullest cooperation. Luckily my interrogations were done on the ground floor. If anybody was to push me my worst injury would be falling to the bushy and swampy valley behind the Negeri Sembilan MACC complex.
I wish to apologise to anybody who feels offended by this post of mine.
I had the experience once back in the 90s when I was the pengetua of one rural sec school in Baling. Perhaps times changed or modus operandi has changed or even the character of individual officer undergone transformation.
They, the BPR told me phone me to get things ( all the necessary files) within reach by 2 pm the next day. The next day, after the customary 'salam' they boldly told me that onceany they opened 'a file ' , 'the accused' is presumed guilty. The case: Somebodywrotea letter to them indicating that the pengetua, me was involved in fixing the successful bidder for canteen! Imagine just school canteen. They stayed for 3 days and duly handed me the all clear letter and apology. But there was no intimidation, could my case didnot warrant such severity of action.
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