02 June 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — A day after losing his appeal on a corruption conviction former Selangor Mentri Besar Dr Mohamed Khir Toyo maintained his innocence today and suggested he was being made a scapegoat for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s anti-corruption drive.
The Court of Appeal maintained yesterday the Shah Alam High Court’s decision in convicting Dr Khir of corruption in buying a luxury home and land in 2007, but granted the Umno member a stay of execution of his 12-month jail sentence pending his appeal to the Federal Court.
“I don’t care anymore if a decision was made to imprison me as a symbol to show that Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak’s administration is transparent and wants to fight corruption,” Dr Khir wrote on his blog today.
Dr Khir also noted that he was charged with criminal breach of trust (CBT) under the Penal Code, and not with corruption under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009. 
“Throughout the trial, the testimony of the PKNS officer clearly shows that I supported many proposals to develop PKNS land. Some of my support letters were approved and some were rejected by the technical committee,” said Dr Khir, referring to the Selangor State Development Corporation, of which he was the chairman then.
“That’s why I was charged with criminal breach of trust under the Penal Code, and not corruption under the SPRM Act. Yet, SPRM proudly announces that its successful prosecution against me is proof that the government is serious in fighting corruption,” he added, referring to the MACC.
The Shah Alam High Court had sentenced Dr Khir in 2011 to 12 months’ jail and seized the Umno member’s Balinese-style mansion in Shah Alam after ruling that he had abused his position as the state’s top executive in purchasing the property with a hefty discount of up to RM3 million.
The Court of Appeal upheld the jail sentence and forfeiture of the property.
Then Shah Alam High Court judge Datuk Mohtarudin Baki, now a Court of Appeal judge, said in his December 2011 judgment that a fine was not sufficient, stressing that public interest needed to be prioritised over private interest.
Dr Khir was found guilty of illegally obtaining for himself and his wife two lots of land and a house at No. 8 and 10, Jalan Suasa 7/1L in Shah Alam from Ditamas Sdn Bhd through its director Datuk Shamsuddin Hayroni.
The property was purchased for RM3.5 million although Ditamas had bought it for RM6.5 million on December 23, 2004.
Dr Khir pointed out today, however, that Shamsuddin had no reason to bribe him as PKNS had rejected his (Dr Khir’s) support letters for Shamsuddin.
“In fact, even in Shamsuddin’s testimony, he himself admitted that it was he who offered to sell to me, and not I who asked to buy it,” said Dr Khir.
“I will appeal at the Federal Court against this decision, but I do not expect a chance to be freed, not as bright as the one I had at the Court of Appeal... I can be proud, at least, that I bought this house with my own sweat, and not with government money,” he added.
Dr Khir committed the offence at the official residence of the Selangor mentri besar at Jalan Permata 7/1, Section 7 in Shah Alam on May 29, 2007.
Barisan Nasional (BN) lost Selangor for the first time in Election 2008 and failed to retake the country’s most industrialised state in the recent May 5 general election, allowing Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to win a two-thirds majority in the state assembly instead.


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