When the news spread that Khir Toyo had been charged in court for accepting in bribe, a political scientist sent me a message: “Khir Toyo arrested and Samy out. Elections must be very close now.”
He isn’t the only one with that thought. While a general election next year is by no means a certainty, one thing is a fair bet: the BN has begun to try and spruce up its image ahead of 2013, the deadline for holding the next general election.
But that’s a massive ask, though. Remember the corruption revelations in Sarawak?
And Remember Kasitah Gaddam and Eric Chia – the big fish (well, medium-sized fish, actually) who were hauled up in court ahead of the 2004 general election at a time when Abdullah Badawi wanted to show he was serious about corruption. What happened to them? Eric Chia was acquitted in 2007 and Kasitah Gaddam in 2009.
In the case of Eric Chia’s acquittal, The Star reported back then that the trial judge faulted the prosecution:
in every aspect of the case, from the way the main charge and alternative charge were proffered right to the tendering of documents, and its failure to call crucial witnesses.
Akhtar said the most glaring setback was the prosecution’s failure to call two material witnesses, who would have been able to confirm whether payment was needed for the technical assistance agreements (TAA) signed between Perwaja Rolling Mill Development and NKK Corporation.
And in the case of Kasitah Gaddam, the first Cabinet Minister to be charged with corruption, The Star reported:
Justice Suraya said the failure of the prosecution in not calling six board members who were present in the meeting was detrimental to the case as it had created a big gap over the question of whether the board members were actually cheated by the accused.