The following is the full transcript of the special media conference yesterday by MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull.
Before I proceed with the story of my experience, let me speak about my re-appointment into the MACC.
On May 14, I was called by the Prime Minister’s Office to meet the Prime Minister at about 10.30am at the Malaysian Caring Community Foundation.
Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali and Road Transport Department director-general Datuk Shaharuddin (Khalid) were already there.
Frankly speaking, I did not want to return to take up any offer of rejoining the MACC. I am retired and am really happy with life. I love my granddaughter, she’s so cute. But they both felt that I should take up the offer.
I was the first one who was called in to meet Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Tun asked me right away: Do you want to accept my offer? You’ll start tomorrow.
Looking at Tun, I just could not say no, after all he is 93 and had returned to serve the country.
So, I said to him: Tun, I accept your offer. But on one condition – that I come back only to complete my unfinished job. That’s why, when reporters asked if I was happy to accept this offer, I’ll be very honest and say that I’m not happy at all.
But, I take this as a responsibility to serve the country. My experiences in probing SRC International and 1MDB are very scary. In fact, I nearly died because of this case and that’s why I’m afraid to return.
But, after seeing Dr Mahathir fully spirited at his ripe old age, still wanting to serve the country, I have to toughen myself to take up this position again.
When Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed told me to initiate investigations into SRC International, with RM42mil having been transferred into the former prime minister’s (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) bank accounts in July 2015, I agreed.
I told Tan Sri, “it’s either our former PM will be booted out, or it will be us”. Abu Kassim said “it’s alright, we do it for the nation”.
We received tremendous pressure throughout our investigations. Some witnesses had been taken away and others from whom we recorded statements, were investigated by other authorities.
I was threatened with being sacked and told to take early retirement.
I was also told to go on early leave and was threatened with a transfer to the MACC’s training department.
I’m really grateful to my boss Abu Kassim for standing fully by me. He supported me. Abu Kassim once said to someone, that no matter what happens, Shukri and him will defend this case.
He said “if you want to fire me, fire both of us”. So, towards the end of the investigations, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was fired on July 27, 2016.
It was a Tuesday. I met with him on Monday, a day before he was sacked. During that meeting, Gani asked me if I was ready, as they were going to execute the arrest on Wednesday (July 28, 2016). I told Gani that I was.
However, on that Tuesday, I received news that Gani’s service had been terminated, and his letter was backdated to July 26.
When Gani was sacked, I received information from our intelligence that I would be arrested over accusations of conspiring to topple the government.
I’m a civil servant and graft buster. I’m not trying to topple the government. So, on getting information that I would be arrested, I left for Washington on July 31, 2016.
I disseminated false information that I was headed to Saudi Arabia and this caused the authorities here to place an Interpol red alert on me in Jeddah. When I reached Washington, I found out that there was an unknown individual trailing me.
So, my team in Washington took a few pictures of the individual and handed it to me.
I sent the pictures to MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki and told him to forward it to the Inspector-General of Police.
I wanted to tell the IGP that his officer was stupid, because I should be the one following him, not the other way around!
I felt very unsafe in Washington, so I moved to New York by train. Over there, I headed to the New York Police Department (NYPD) and met a contact whom I knew in Singapore.
I was granted protection by the NYPD with three bodyguards for about a week.
After feeling safe, I returned to Washington, only to find out that my officers had been arrested and two senior officers transferred to the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Bahri Mohd Zin and Datuk Rohaizad Yaakob.
I cried like a baby after finding that out. I loved the MACC too much. I felt very guilty at that time because my officers were detained and transferred, while I was away in the US.
I even cried in front of the Americans. So, try to imagine my situation.
Abu Kassim and I fought for the country to get back the money that was stolen from the Malaysian people.
We wanted to help but we were accused of being involved in conspiracies and being traitors.
So when I was in Washington, I was thinking about MACC and my colleagues. I sent WhatsApp messages to two ministers, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and Datuk Paul Low.
I asked them to please return my officers as soon as possible. If not I threatened to use my power, and lawyers. I was willing to do that because I really love this country.
Shahidan told me, “Brother, please don’t do anything. I promise I will return the officers to you. Low told me to calm down and said that he will try his best.”
I told him that I don’t care about your promises. I want you to do this immediately, please release my officers before I get back.
You know what happened, if my officers were not released before I got back, I would do something unexpected. I will use my power to arrest the official who issued the transfer letter because I classify this as an abuse of power and to thwart the MACC’s investigations.
I knew that I would be sacked or detained but I forgot everything because I was doing it for the country. There were many threats towards me and Abu Kassim but we never gave up.
In Malaysia, we split up and met several ministers because we wanted to convince them that the RM2.6bil and RM42mil SRC case was real and not made up.
So Tan Sri and I pleaded with them to please sack this person and replace him. Both of us said that Datuk Seri Najib should be replaced by someone else, either (Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad) Zahid (Hamidi) or (Datuk Seri) Hishammuddin (Hussein).
Among the ministers we met, only three were brave enough to voice out – Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and Datuk Seri Husni Hanadzlah.
The others were scared to take any action.
Now, many ministers that were part of the government that fell, telephoned me to say if they had listened to me earlier, this would not have happened.
I said I don’t have any self-interest, I was not asking for money or posts. I was speaking the truth so that we could rectify the situation before it was too late. Because this 1MDB and RM2.6bil wasn’t made up. It was a true story and the case was just too big to be covered up.
We also had an audience with the Conference of Rulers twice. We said “Please look into this Tuanku” but we were left disappointed.
In our last days of service, we tried our best to ask so that Datuk Seri Mustafar would take over my place.
We had heard that Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad was coming in two or three months time. Seeing that he was coming in August and I was to retire in October, I couldn’t put myself to work under him because I considered him to be a traitor to the country.
He was supposed to make the case stronger, not protect the wrongdoers. He should have dug more and investigated the proof needed for a case, not to protect the wrongdoer.
I made the decision to retire early and to went for a course. As long as I could get out. In that time there was an MP from the north who met with me twice to ask me to stop the investigation.
I said I only wanted one thing and please don’t interfere with my investigation. Let me finish it and let the AG settle. He said “please Datuk, settle it.” I told him that if he said that to me one more time, I will arrest him. This parliamentarian is known as King of Cash.
I was really sad because I was accused of being a traitor and involved in a conspiracy to bring down the government.
But we were just fighting hard for the country we loved, and to take back what the US had promised to give us back.
We wanted to bring back the money, but were accused of being traitors. I did not even tell this to my wife and children as I did not want them to be fearful.
I did not even make a police report because I knew it would have gone viral.
I did not tell my own officers, but I kept it until the day when I would tell all.
Looks like God gave me the chance today to tell my story. Maybe some would ask why I didn’t stand up to speak up like the others.
Datuk Bahari said please stand up, it doesn’t matter if we end up in the lock-up. Or even if we would be hit by the OSA, said Datuk Bahari.
I told him we will never succeed because we will get caught. We would only succeed on the first day before being caught. Malaysians would forget easily. Now we have to do things strategically so that we can present to everyone.
Some of the rakyat understand but there are some who don’t. Who would want to give RM2.6bil? If it was RM2.6mil, it is still believable. But no one in the world would want to donate RM2.6bil. It is just too big.