When a Malaysian deputy prosecutor named Kevin Morais disappeared on Sept. 4 last year after leaving his condominium in Kuala Lumpur on his way to work, the rumor spread that the 55-year-old Morais, who was gay, probably had tired of his job with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and had left with his lover, probably for London. And, newly-minted Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali said, Morais had nothing to do with the controversial MACC probe into Prime Minister Najib Razak’s tangled financial affairs.
It is widely believed that that probe got former Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail fired from his job in July, to be replaced by Apandi Ali, an UMNO stooge and loyalist who served in a variety of different capacities, including as the judge who ruled that Christians couldn’t use the word “Allah” to describe god.
What nobody expected was that Morais would turn up. The rumor about his disappearance was put to the lie when a CCTV camera, by chance, caught Morais’s car being rammed on a Kuala Lumpur street and him being dragged from it. Morais was later found in an oil drum filled with cement in a river in Subang Jaya, a Kuala Lumpur suburb. His burned car was found in a palm oil plantation in Perak. The police said it was an open and shut case. Morais had been killed by confederates of an army doctor in revenge for prosecuting a case against him.
That has been put to the lie as well. Morais’s brother in Atlanta, Ga. in the US turned up in Kuala Lumpur to issue a statement saying Morais was not only working on the Najib case, but he was either leading or co-leading the prosecution, and that he had sent him a USB drive containing information on the case. That has been corroborated by other sources in Kuala Lumpur.
It has since become clear that Morais in addition was one of the sources of deeply detailed information on Najib’s finances that was being fed to Clare Rewcastle Brown, the editor and writer of Sarawak Report. So rather than being killed for revenge by an angry army doctor, it appears that he was killed for being a whistle-blower.
So why was Apandi Ali, the country’s chief law enforcement officer, lying about Kevin Morais’s activities? Why was the lie spread that he had left town with a homosexual lover? Why did the attorney general’s office say Morais had nothing to do with the Najib case?
Apandi Ali has now denounced a story by Sarawak Report – and a similar Asia Sentinel story quoting Sarawak Report –that the MACC had forwarded 37 criminal charges against Najib for prosecution. He has said he sent the case back to the MACC for further work. Is Apandi also lying about that as well? Given the clear lies about Morais, who does the reader want to believe? Mohamad Apandi Ali or Asia Sentinel and Sarawak Report
Apandi Ali says hehas sent the report back to the MACC for revision. He retires officially in three weeks, meaning he wants to pass the hot potato to his successor, expected to be another UMNZO lawyer, Mohamad Shafie Abdullah.
The story has earned a ban for Asia Sentinel in Malaysia from the communications ministry, which has issued a notice saying “This website is not available in Malaysia because it violates the national laws.” The ban has holes in it, but, say sources in Kuala Lumpur, it is likely to tighten.