PETALING JAYA: Former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull has finally addressed rumours about his resignation following the appointment of his successor Latheefa Koya.
In a press conference detailing the run-up to his resignation, Mohd Shukri had one message for the public: Stop speculating and let me resign peacefully.
"I appeal to the public, let me leave the MACC peacefully.
"All accusations that I was fired are all baseless. I never took any bribes or abused a single sen. Never in my life have I covered up for anyone or closed any files," he said, adding that the MACC's job was to investigate and that the decision to prosecute was left to the Attorney General's Chambers.
Although Mohd Shukri's two-year contract was only due to end in 2020, he explained that he had informed the Prime Minister of his intention to only serve for a year.
He said he was called to meet Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on May 14, 2018, in Putrajaya where Dr Mahathir told him "you start work tomorrow".
Mohd Shukri said he had initially planned to turn down the position and proposed then Immigration department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali as chief commissioner, but Dr Mahathir's instruction took him by surprise.
"Spontaneously, I apologetically told him that I will accept the job on one condition, I will serve MACC for only one year," he said.
Mohd Shukri, who had to come out of retirement, said he only wanted to solve two issues, the first being to complete investigations into 1Malaysia Development Berhad and SRC International.
Secondly, he wanted to solve internal issues within the MACC due to divisions among the officers.
"I set a one-year condition because I was convinced that I could solve these two issues in six months to a year," he said.
Mohd Shukri said three days later, then-Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa contacted him offering a three-year contract, of which he turned down.
"Ali Hamza said it was tak cantik (not nice) to draft a one-year contract, so as a win-win situation, agreed to a two-year contract.
"But I told Ali Hamzah that I will not necessarily complete the two-year term as I wanted to keep my one-year tenure promise to Dr Mahathir," he said, adding that he was a man of integrity.
Mohd Shukri added that he gave a letter to Dr Mahathir on March 6, 2019, stating his intention to resign after having completed the 1MDB and SRC International cases.
"I suggested to shorten my contract effective May 1, 2019. I also listed my proposed successors, which were two MACC senior officers who could continue the vision and mission of the MACC successfully," he said.
Mohd Shukri said he did not receive a response from Dr Mahathir and continued his work until he was asked to have an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong regarding his resignation on June 4.
"That was the day I found out that they had selected my successor and confirmed it was an outsider," he said.
Mohd Shukri said the appointment was a surprise as Latheefa Koya's name was never brought up in his previous meetings with Dr Mahathir.
Nonetheless, he voiced his confidence in Latheefa and asked for the public to support her.
Mohd Shukri's stressed that his decision to quit was planned from the very first day he returned to the MACC.
"I did not run away in shock, or shorten my contract, nor am I being ousted or leaving the MACC high and dry," he added.
He said his job in the MACC was now complete as the "big fishes" accused of corruption have been brought to court, with the MACC achieving a 91% conviction rate, the highest in its history.
Latheefa's appointment, announced on June 4, came as a surprise to many.
She replaced Mohd Shukri, who quit before his tenure was to have ended in 2020.
She then resigned as a PKR member and the executive director of Lawyers for Liberty.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said it was his personal decision to appoint Latheefa to the post, and that he did not consult Cabinet on the matter. He also said that he had "listened to many people" before making his decision.