Perhaps Tan Sri Robert Phang will glee with vindication and claimed, "I told you so" after reading this posting. To this blogger, it does not really matter. The truth, or perhaps this version of the truth, has to be told and justice has to be served.
The case against former Menteri Besar of Selangor, Dato Seri Dr Mohamed Khir Toyo had all the ingredients and recipe for a great courtroom drama. Having been badly tarnished by Khairy sympathiser TV3, Khir Toyo assume the role of villain everyone loves to see go to the slammer.
There was the suspicion of collusion. Shamsuddin Haryoni, the seller is Director of construction company, Ditamas Sdn Bhd, and maybe Javanese. The public wants to believe he colluded with Khir Toyo to secure business from the state with the house as kickback.
The Attorney General, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, had taken it upon himself to prosecute the case. He hope to prove to the public that he is fair to both sides. He prosecute both opposition or government leaders.
On the first day of the trial on Monday last week, there was a sudden turn of event. The prosecutor withdrew charges against Shamsuddin and made him prosecutor's witness. That should have strengthen an already strong prosecutor's case, sources claim.
To add color to the dull court room ambiance, there was the presence of a bomoh. He has dark skin, sit and walk by himself, and wears a full dark red head cap. His big eyes gives a piercing look. Some claimed it was Khir Toyo's.
Another source in the courtroom claimed it was Shamsuddin's to help him cool his nerve. There is probably three of them and at the request of AG.
When trial resume on Tuesday, Shamsuddin lost his nerve and reappeared for cross examination yesterday. Another prosecutor's witness, landscape designer and house renovator Nasir also bungled. The expected legal drama end up looking like a legal comedy.
Unless Gani can show there were abuse of power, corruption and collusion by Khir Toyo, it doesn't look like Gani will be able to pin Khir Toyo down for buying a house cheaper than seller's purchase price. So far, it does not look Khir Toyo did anything wrong.
During Khir Toyo's tenure as Selangor Menteri Besar, he was villified by the Kalimullah controlled mainstream media dedicated to run him down.
With the concurrence of then Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah, it serve the purpose to kill off a potential competitor to Khairy Jamaluddin pursuit to go for the UMNO Youth leadership.
Khairy was the first to make an issue out of Khir Toyo's house. He rented a helicopter to take aerial pictures of it and spread it on several pro-Khairy's blogs fronting as Anti-Khir Toyo and BN Raksaksa blogs.
Khairy's excessive campaign against Khir Toyo consequently came at the expense of UMNO losing the state in the 2008 general election. It did not stop there because Khir Toyo continue to suffer at Khairy's hands. [Read ABITW dated December 7th, 2010 here.]
After the party election, DAP Sekinchan state assemblymen, babi-faced Ng Swee Lim used Khairy's pictures to make it into a public issue. He dramatised it further to say Khir Toyo's house is worth RM24 million.
Ng is facing a lawsuit from Khir Toyo. Unless he produce a written firm offer of RM24 million to proof the existense of such a buyer, he will be paying up to Khir Toyo. If there is a firm offer, Khir Toyo should partake with his home. Both way, Ng stand to lose.
Should he refuse to pay a sen as he claimed, be ready to retire from politics.
Khir Toyo tried to explain and even showed documents in his blog to support his explanation. The public was taken in by Ng's claim and his explanation only made the public speculate further.
One suspicion was that there was collusion between him and contractor-seller, Shamsuddin.
Around the time, there was noises within UMNO for a major clean-up. MACC had to come in to investigate. The investigating papers ended up with AG. Under such immense political and public pressure, did AG abuse his power to make Khir Toyo the sacrificial lamb?
To detractors of Khir Toyo, they are only happy to quote the proverb: "Pandai-pandai tupai melompat, akhirnya jatuh ke tanah jua." (Even how capable are squirrels at jumping from branches to branches, they eventually ended up falling on the ground.)
One rumour circulating is that AG had hired Tan Hock Chuan, the lawyer that represented the Government of Malaysia in the Tan Boon Hock Inquest and fumbled it big time.
Tan is infamous in the legal community for his conniving out-of-court deals. He was instrumental in brokering the deal to get AG to drop the charge against Shamsuddin and turn him into prosecution's star witness.
They say unlike the truth, a lie cannot be told with consistency.
When brought in as witness, Shamsuddin failed several times to answer properly. He became nervous, couldn't answer questions and couldn't say things properly to be real.
On Tuesday, court had to be adjourned to afternoon. By noon, he was still nervous and couldn't answer questions. Come Wednesday, he still couldn't answer questions properly. Come Thursday, he was sick.
Shamsuddin forgot his script. He was obviously programmed to incriminate Khir Toyo. A simple question was asked by the defense lawyer: "What company do you have?"
He was answering in all sort of manner. And, he was blabbering about he has direct dealing with Khir Toyo. It became clear he could not answer questions he was not coached.
Yesterday he did another cheap lie when he claimed he was under pressure to sell the house, which he bought for RM6.5 million, to Khir Toyo at RM3.5 million for fear his projects with the state will be affected. More accurately Shamsuddin bought at RM5 million and spent on renovation for RM1.5 million to make it RM6.5 million.
But in the Facebook coverage, he said there was no pressure imposed on him by Khir Toyo.
The original owner who sold to Shamsuddin, Saiful Aznir Shahabuddin claimed that he met Khir only once when he tried to fish for RM7 million. Khir thought it was too expensive and left without a counter proposal.
But Shamsuddin claimed he met Saiful with Khir Toyo several time and bought the house because Khir Toyo wants it and he is MB. Before him, he claimed Khir Toyo had initially asked Datuk Sumadi Ismail (friend to Saiful's father) to buy on his behalf but could not do so due to other commitments.
The truth to the matter.
Shamsuddin bought the Italian designed house and demolished it. When Shamsuddin offered it to Khir Toyo, he was selling the land only because there was no house that can be valued for. He paid RM500,ooo and the balance RM3 million was with a bank loan.
Subsequently Khir Toyo spent on building the Bali style house at the cost of RM1.5 million.
The landscape designer and renovation contractor, Nasir Ismail claimed it cost RM6 million but he could not produce documents. Despite being showed a signed contract of RM1.5 million, he remains insistent that the renovation was RM6 million but could not provide proof.
Nasir also claim there was an "formality" agreement for show that renovation cost RM600,000 but did not have evidence to support his claim.
He had also failed to remember his company invoices despite dealing in millions. There was a point he forgot the people who worked under him for 4 years.
They were inconsistent in their statements. Shamsuddin was a nervous wreck and returned yesterday to finish his statement. He was obviously being coached and came noticeably with a written script.
Shamsuddin and house renovator, Nasir could only answer the prosecutor's questions but failed to answer the defense lawyer's.
In this day and age, no one can "tutup a mulut tempayan" (close a water storing earthenware).
Even though mainstream media are self-censoring to only present the prosecutor's points and pro-opposition portals are only out to nail either Dr Khir Toyo or any suspicion of conspiracy to save Khir Toyo, someone is bound to expose what happened in court.
In fact, a Facebook here had been dedicated to give a minute by minute coverage here., particularly the defense lawyer, Atimulan side of side of the story
The proceed of the case has brought out curiosity from bloggers. There have been many embarassing situation.
RBF raised about Nasir the third witness only answering questions by prosecutor and forget or unable to answer questions from Khir Toyo's lawyer.
The prosection's witness insist he received RM6 million for renovation. Then said he received 4-5 half a million cheque from Khir Toyo, which makes up RM2-2.5 million. Shamsuddin then claimed he paid RM1.5 million to Nasir.
For more details of the proceeding, read My KMU here and here.
Update: As of The Star's report on the case yesterday, the MSM are still slanting news against Khir Toyo and in favour of AG. See below:
Tuesday June 14, 2011 MYT 7:49:30 PM
Khir Toyo trial: Property valued at RM5.55mil, court told (Updated)
By NURBAITI HAMDAN
SHAH ALAM: The properties in Section 7 here bought by former Selangor Mentri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo for RM3.5mil four years ago has a market value of RM5.55mil, the High Court here heard Tuesday.
Henry Butcher Malaysia Sdn Bhd senior property valuer Long Tian Chek, 54, testified that he valued the property as at May 14,2007.
"I was instructed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on July 31, 2009, to evaluate two plots of land as at 2007," he said during an examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar.
He added that the land, owned by Dr Mohd Khir and his wife Zahrah Kechik, came with a two-storey detached house, a pool, gazebo and carporch.
Long said the market value for the land was RM2.35mil and the building was worth RM3.2mil, making the entire property stand at a handsome RM5.55mil.
Read on further here.
Noticeably absent are the information below:
This blogger had defended Gani in his ordeal against Robert Phang, Din Merican, Raja Petra, Dato Ramli Yusof and Rosli Dahalan. But this is a different case, thus has to be treated differently.
The judge allowed an application from the defense to impeach the two prosecution's witness. By the manner the two blurt out the statement without responsibility, they deserve to be impeach. It means all their statements in court. A decision is due.
This will only be an embarassment to Gani Patail. Even for a person publicly blemished like Khir Toyo, he deserve a fair trail.
This blogger like to be proven wrong, but by the way things are going, Khir Toyo is seen being fixed and made a sacrificial lamb. The blame cannot be put not on MACC because when it goes to court, it is AG's game. There is indication that they are feeling frustrated.
If Khir Toyo was fairly proven to be wrong, he deserve to be punished. But not using deceitful tactics and tricks.
That's no way to treat my fellow plebeian.
* Up-dated: 15/6/2011 10:30 AM