I fear God above all else, says MACC’s Bahri upon reinstatement
BY MUZLIZA MUSTAFA
Published: 12 August 2015 9:00 PM
Anti-graft investigator Datuk Bahri Mohamad Zin (centre, in glasses) seen here last week after being questioned by the police, says he will not be deterred by the controversial short-lived transfer to the Prime Minister’s Department. – The Malaysian Insider pic, August 12, 2015.
Reinstated anti-graft investigator Datuk Bahri Mohamad Zin has resumed work saying he will not be deterred by recent memories of his sudden, short-lived transfer, and police scrutiny of him and other colleagues.
The director of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's Special Operations division said nothing would deter him from doing his job as he "feared God's judgment" more than anything else.
“I fear God’s judgment. I have this responsibility that I am entrusted with and more scared if one day God asks me what I have done with the very little power that I was given,” said Bahri in a brief conversation with The Malaysian Insider yesterday.
In his first public comments since his reinstatement on Monday, Bahri said he did not want to say more since his boss, MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Mohamad Shukri Abdull, was back in Malaysia.
Bahri came into the spotlight for his outburst over the police's move to question him and six other MACC officers over alleged leaks of official information on investigations into debt-ridden state investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
He denied the leak had come from within MACC, and called the police's raids of the special operations unit office's "mad". He also vowed to "hunt down" those behind the police's actions, which he said had interrupted the anti-graft agency's work.
MACC also received widespread public support and outcry over what was seen as harassment and intimidation of the agency's investigations.
MACC is investigating a former 1MDB subsidiary, SRC International Sdn Bhd, which had taken a RM4 billion loan from government pension fund, Retirement Fund Incorporated.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is chairman of the 1MDB advisory board, and also heads the Finance Ministry, which owns the investment firm.
Last Friday, Bahri and his colleague, strategic communications director Datuk Rohaizad Yaakob, were transferred to the Prime Minister’s Department with immediate effect.
It was believed that the transfer was over Bahri's statements, while Rohaizad had received a delegation of opposition politicians who came to the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya in a show of solidarity.
Both were reinstated on Monday after both men met chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa and Public Service Department (PSD) director-general Tan Sri Mohamad Zabidi Zainal.
A few of Bahri's colleagues at MACC said they had no idea he would be transferred and never expected that his frank remarks would lead to it.
MACC sources say that Section 72 of the MACC Act 2009 gave Bahri immunity when speaking to the media if done in good faith.
Sources also say that the transfer order issued by PSD was also against Section 48 of the MACC Act 2009 as it was tantamount to obstruction of the agency's investigative work.
One of Bahri's colleagues who requested anonymity described him as a religious man who frequently reminded his subordinates that "although others may have power, we have Allah with us in carrying out our duties".
Bahri and Rohaizad's transfers have renewed calls for MACC to be made a fully independent agency and to have its own service commission so that it can have autonomy over its recruitment and appointments without being subject to the civil service. – August 12, 2015.
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