September 30, 2015
COMMENT: Khir Toyo was once a powerful man. He thought he could do what he liked including dispensing insults to people. He abused power and betrayed the trust of the people of Selangor he pledged to serve. Now he is a felon. What a turnaround in fate for this UMNO leader. There is no point expressing regret for past actions. As the Malay saying goes , nasi sudah jadi bubor.
Let Khir Toyo’s conviction and imprisonment be a lesson to corrupt Malaysian politicians that the law has long arms. It will get them sooner or later. Allow me to leave them with a message from Mahatma Gandhi, my role model of frugal life and humility.–Din Merican
Mr. Broom Giver goes to Kajang Jail for Corruption
by V. Anbalagan, Assistant News Editor
Former Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo was sentenced to 12 months’ jail for abusing his power while in office to purchase a land and a bungalow in 2007. Federal Court judge Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, who delivered the verdict, also upheld the decision of the lower court to forfeit the property.
He said community service as suggested by lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was not appropriate in this case. “The instant offence, which is destructive of public confidence in the government, was not trivial in nature,” he said.
He said Dr Khir as public servant had abused his position to buy the property with inadequate consideration.
Dr Khir’s sentence begins today. Khir can apply for a pardon before the Sultan of Selangor. Last week, the apex court dismissed Dr Khir’s appeal when the bench affirmed the conviction of the lower courts.
Judge Tan Sri Jeffrey Tan Kok Hwa, who delivered the unanimous ruling of the five-man bench, said the prosecution had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt. “All the ingredients of the charge had been proved, including whether he was a public servant,” he said in delivering the unanimous verdict.
Dr Khir was calm and composed when the judgment was read out in the packed room. The audience consisted of his family members, supporters and the media.He will serve his jail term in Kajang prison.
Dr Khir was previously on RM750,000 bail pending his appeal being exhausted.Shafee told reporters that Dr Khir would also likely lose his pension as former menteri besar and Pasir Panjang assemblyman.
The law states that any elected or former elected representative who is fined RM2,000 or jailed a minimum of 12 months will lose their remuneration. Shafee said pardon was an option but the defence was exploring other possibilities, which he declined to reveal.
It is learnt that an option was to seek a review of the Federal Court ruling on grounds that an injustice was caused to the accused.
“We were shocked by the finding of guilt by the Federal Court as we had hoped for an acquittal. We had also hoped for a lenient sentence after this court last week upheld the conviction,” he said.
Shafee said he had been instructed by Dr Khir to initiate contempt proceedings against The Sun newspaper for publishing two articles that attempted to influence the judges. In today’s judgment, Zulkefli said corruption in all manner and form could not be condoned and that a fine would not send the message.
“Neither would community service. In any event, community service is an option only in the case of youthful offenders and not applicable to the appellant (Dr Khir ),” he added.
He said imprisonment was the right and proper sentence although the prosecution did not appeal to enhance it.The judge said that in dismissing the appellant’s appeal against lenient sentence, the court also took into account public interest and that the punishment first imposed by the trial court was not manifestly wrong.
Zulkefli said the forfeiture of the property was ordered in accordance with Section 36 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1997. This legislation was used as the offence had been committed before Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act came into force in 2010.
“The said land was not arbitrarily forfeited. It was a lawful deprivation. There was no breach of Article 13 (1) of the Federal Constitution,” he said in reference to contention of the defence that the accused would be deprived of his property. Dr Khir and his wife are the registered owners but the court said the forfeiture was subject to the charge, if any.