KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — Ex-minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Paul Low today denied conspiring against a former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief, or failing to defend the latter when he was removed from his post.
Low denied the accusations, telling Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull, that he was the one who helped secure the ‘release’ of the latter’s investigating officers.
They were abruptly transferred out during the course of the MACC probe into the RM2.6 billion Arab royalty donation, as well as the RM42 million fund from SRC International.
Both amounts were credited into the private bank account of ex-prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Low however, said that he was not able to influence the outcome of the investigations.
“Of course I got back his men, but as far as investigations go, it’s not within my powers.
“Of course I supported the investigation to go on,” Low told Malay Mail when contacted.
“Means at the starting of the formation of the investigation team, I knew about it and I gave my blessing to it also,” Low who was put in charge of integrity, added.
Low said he had used “appropriate channels” to return Shukri’s officers back to the agency where they belonged.
He added that Cabinet ministers had also supported the MACC investigation to go on, and had conveyed the messaged to Najib, during meetings.
“No, I cannot tell. I cannot tell (who spoke up), he said when asked to divulge the identities of the Cabinet members who had addressed the issue.
“We just said the investigation should proceed, because you cannot say something before you find out anything,” he added.
In a tell-all press conference today, Shukri accused Low and the latter’s colleague, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, of conspiring against him and did not have his back when he was removed from his position.
Shukri said he was crying like a baby in Washington when he heard his men and other officers in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) team then was told to go on leave and transferred out.
“I WhatsApp-ed Shahidan Kassim and Paul Low. I said please return my men or not I will return and use my lawyers to fight this.
“Shahidan said exactly ‘brother don’t do anything, let me settle. I promise to return your men’.
“Paul Low said the same. But I told them I will use my power to save my men be it if I was arrested , I will do this for them and the country,” an emotional Shukri told a hall of more than 100 foreign and local media.
“I told them this is huge. It’s too huge to be protected. We worked so hard to reveal all this. Even the US is ready to return the money.
“But, this one person known as ‘Cash King’ said he will arrest me if I continued standing on my grounds and I was slandered with helping in conspiracy against the government then,” he said.
Shukri, 58, made his return to the MACC as its chief commissioner yesterday, clocking in for duty at 10.25am.
He was formerly its chief commissioner of operations before retiring in 2016.
Mohd Shukri was named the new MACC chief by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad last week, replacing Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad who had resigned from his position, and returned for duty at the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
Mohd Shukri is expected to take up investigations into Najib’s role over the 1MDB scandal.