KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 — In a rare display of transparency, Attorney-General (A-G) Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail volunteered today to show his bank accounts to Rafizi Ramli after the opposition lawmaker accused him of accepting money in a deal that saw Malaysia lose its stake in Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore.
The first-term Pandan MP had earlier today said he will seek help from Hong Kong’s graftbusters to investigate Abdul Gani for bribery over the 2007 landmark loss of the island that lies between the waters of the nation’s southernmost state of Johor and the republic that had once been part of Malaysia.
“I am prepared to give YB Rafizi the letter of authority if he wants to check my bank accounts in any country including Hong Kong about the millions of dollars that had purportedly been deposited into my account as a bribe in the overlapping claim on Pulau Batu Putih at the International Court of Justice.
“He can come to my office at any time to get the letter,” Abdul Gani was quoted saying by state news wire Bernama.
In a terse statement to the national news agency, the A-G said he had been following media reports on the allegations against him.
Rafizi, who has gained a reputation as PKR’s “expose man”, had launched a crusade against the A-G following recent revelations by former Kuala Lumpur Crime Investigation Department chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim in his 31-page statutory declaration sent to the Prime Minister’s Office on October 9.
In it, Mat Zain also defended his earlier allegation that Abdul Gani had intentionally lost the territorial dispute case, which was heard at the International Court of Justice in 2007.
Mat Zain had quoted prominent Umno lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah as saying, “You will not believe your eyes if you were to see the amount of cash that was transferred into Gani’s account in Hong Kong.”
Shafee has since distanced himself from Mat Zain’s allegations, rejecting the remarks in his affidavit-in-reply for the government’s appeal against the sodomy acquittal of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim last week.
Pulau Batu Puteh, or Pedra Branca as it is now known, was a disputed island claimed by Malaysia and Singapore since 1979, when Malaysia published a map indicating the island to be within the country’s territory.
This led to a nearly three-decade dispute with Singapore that was finally ended when the island was ruled to be Singaporean territory by the International Court of Justice in 2008.