IGP says Khairuddin arrested as he was on path to destabilise Malaysia's economy and sovereignty
Khalid Abu Bakar, the Inspector-General of Police, has rebutted claims by PAS' Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar that the police force is being misused by PM Najib to cover up the debt-ridden 1MDB scandal. The MP had condemned the police for arresting former UMNO member Khairuddin Abu Hassan for conspiracy to topple the government on Friday night.
The IGP said Khairuddin was arrested because he lodged reports with various foreign enforcement agencies on the matter, despite pending Malaysian investigations, reported Malaysiakini.
The IGP said Khairuddin should have given space to local enforcement agencies to do their work instead of going on a world tour to lodge reports at foreign agencies and "pile international pressure on Malaysia".
“This is clearly an act to challenge the Malaysian legal system, undermines the credibility of local enforcement agencies and invites foreign interference in Malaysia's democratic system. This is a form of sabotage which could destabilise the country's economy and sovereignty,” he said in a statement late Sunday.
Khairuddin is under a six-day remand is probed under Section 124C of the Penal Code, which deals with activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy. He was prior to his arrest barred from leaving the country, along with his lawyer Matthias Chang.
Hours after Khairuddin Abu Hassan told Malaysiakini "I don't give a damn about Bukit Aman" and that he was prepared to be arrested, police officers from Bukit Aman arrested the former UMNO leader from his home in Mont Kiara at 7.30pm last night, 18 September
His lawyer Matthias Chang told Malaysiakini that Khairuddin has been brought to the Dang Wangi district police headquarters and is being investigated under Section 124C of the Penal Code.
"Police have not interrogated him and will hold him overnight. They will file for remand tomorrow morning at 9.30am with the Dang Wangi magistrate," Chang (photo) said.
According to his wife, Datin Seri Umie Aida, he was arrested at residence in Mont Kiara, here about 7.30pm Friday.
"15 policemen arrived at our house, five to six of them went up and the rest waited downstairs at the condominium,” she told Astro AWANI.
According to Umie, police seized some personal belongings, including a laptop, two mobile phones and sim cards.
Prior to his arrest, the former Batu Kawan UMNO Deputy Chief discovered that he and his lawyer Matthias have been barred from leaving the country, reportedly on Bukit Aman's orders
In a Facebook post, Khairuddin said he was supposed to leave to New York and London this morning. The former Batu Kawan Umno division deputy chief claimed the Immigration Department had blacklisted him upon instructions of the police.
"The immigration department or police did not provide me with any notice," he said.
Khairuddin said what is disappointing is that the Immigration Department did not give a specific reason for barring him and only cited "special reasons" and that the directive came from the police headquarters.
"I feel the authorities have abused their powers by prohibiting me from traveling abroad without a valid reason. Are they afraid of my actions to fight for the truth regarding the 1MDB financial scandal?" he asked, adding the authorities should have investigated those involved in 1MDB.
Khairuddin, who turned against Prime Minister Najib late last year, has traveled to financial capitals in Europe and Asia in an effort to spur investigations into the PM's dealings in connection with 1MDB
"I just want to fight, to speak the truth, to protect the country from being destroyed and conned by one of the most corrupt prime ministers," he said.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has repeatedly denied misusing 1MDB funds for his own personal gain and vowed to solve the 1MDB imbroglio soon. Najib and several others have claimed that there is a conspiracy to topple the prime minister and government.
Khairuddin was asked to report to Bukit Aman next Monday, 21 September, for his statement to be recorded over documents he submitted on 1MDB to the Attorney-General of Switzerland
His arrest comes amid a crackdown against those investigating PM Najib over deposits of RM2.7 billion into his personal bank accounts
In July, a Malaysian news outlet that had been investigating the activities of the sovereign wealth fund had its publishing license suspended, and the deputy prime minister and attorney general were removed from their posts. In August, the offices of the country’s anticorruption agency were raided.nytimes.com