Ministers and corruption are like a couple of topics that we hear about. Despite being a former minister, many still remember misconduct scandals, whether they are proven to be genuine or just gossip. We are used to hearing former ministers put on trial, but rarely do we hear former ministers from the ruling party go to jail.
This time we want to talk to you about Khir Toyo, or his full name, Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo. Before this, he was a former Selangor member who was sentenced to 12 months in Kajang Prison in 2015 for corruption and abuse of power. He managed to leave a note before going to prison, and now he is open-minded to share a little about how he felt after being incarcerated.
The court upheld Khir Toyo’s conviction and many apologized for various things before going to jail.
Recalling the story from 7 years ago, the case of corruption and abuse of power by Khir Toyo became the talk of the town at the time. After the case was taken to Federal Court, a five-judge panel decided to uphold the conviction. According to the facts of the case, he was convicted of using his position as minister to acquire two plots of land and a bungalow in 2007.
According to an Astro Awani news report dated September 22, 2015, the Shah Alam High Court found Khir Toyo guilty of obtaining for himself and his wife, Zahrah Kechik, two plots of land and a bungalow in Section 7, Shah Alam, of Ditamas Sdn. . Bhd through its director, Datuk Shamsuddin Hayroni.
He, who seemed calm when the case decision was read, managed to write the last note before going to Kajang Prison. The post was carried by various media platforms including Astro Awani. Some of the things touched on in the post were the issue of him and Shamsuddin, the issue of The Sun criticizing him, the issue of the demolition of a Hindu temple in Rimba Jaya, the ‘Sweeper Prize’ and the issue of the squatters. On average, a lot of things happened when he was the Menteri Besar of Selangor.
Relating to himself accused of taking bribes and abuse of power; he said the problem with his bungalow was triggered when a UMNO leader hired a photographer to take pictures of his house using a helicopter to show how big the bungalow was. To him, the action seemed to give the impression that his bungalow was as large and spacious as a palace. Although his house is not the largest house in the area.
He also said, during the trial… It is said that the Public Ministry never presented facts that show that there is an element of corruption. Basically, the corruption item needs to be in a state where it can be rewarded for approving something to Shamsuddin. The only evidence available was the letter of support he provided to Shamsuddin’s company. Shamsuddin’s company is not the only company he supports, perhaps even dozens or hundreds more.
He added that the prosecutor clearly failed to prove that there was privilege for Shamsuddin. When he bought the bungalow, he bought the property with a bank loan and also had the property appraised. At that time, he himself had a debt balance of more than RM2 million. In fact, when the house was half finished, he informed the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State and the MACC itself from the beginning. If it is true that he took bribes, he should ask Shamsuddin to give it away for free and appoint anyone as proxy. But that is not the case.
I have already forgiven all parties and was able to get out early on parole, this is a lesson from prison.
Although he once claimed that the Attorney General at the time seemed very eager to get him sentenced, he calmed down and forgave all sides. Looking back on his fate as a prisoner, he said prison taught him the meaning of not wasting people’s money. Although he did not like to tell about the experience behind the iron curtain, he also shared his experience of his first night as a prisoner in Kajang Prison.
“The first night was the hardest night in Kajang prison. I think of my son and my wife.
But we have to respect each other, prison guards and fellow prisoners. If we can do that, life there will be easier and calmer…
A six-month prison sentence allowed me to look within, and even gave me the opportunity to read most of the books… For me, forgiving someone is healing. Vengeance will only harm our souls,” as reported by Suara Merdeka
For his good behavior, he was paroled after serving a six-month sentence there. In 2016, he applied for parole and was approved by the Parole Board of the Ministry of the Interior (KDN). Secretary-General of the Ministry of the Interior Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim was reported to have said that Khir Toyo was on parole to serve the remainder of his two-month prison sentence outside of prison until the date of his release on May 29. from 2016.
“In the context of Dr. Mohamad Khir, he received a four-month pre-trial detention, serving only an eight-month prison term until May 29, although the 12-month prison term imposed on him entered into force on September 29, 2015 should have ended on September 28 of this year (2016), “- as reported by Mstar
When he started to be active now, he said that his past experience gave him the opportunity to think about many things that need to be corrected. That includes wasting people’s money, and so we don’t waste people who make mistakes.
“In this life, everyone makes mistakes. But how big is the mistake? And I think whether the error was intentional or not, that’s the second question. But what matters is how we correct the mistake, how we accept the mistake, and how we correct ourselves to meet future challenges. That’s the most important thing,” as reported by Malaysiakini in an interview.
Comparing the case of his indictment with that of Lim Guan Eng;
“People may say this is impeachment because my case (is being tried) is over, (DAP national chairman) Lim Guan Eng’s case is in the middle of the road (the case) is being dropped.” , as reported by Malaysiakini.
He was also reported to have said that he had accepted what had happened and that he wanted to continue living as usual. Recently, she expressed her intention to run for the Sungai Besar Parliament. Although he doesn’t seem active in cyberspace, he said he prefers to spend time with the people there. When asked about his daily routine aside from being with the Sungai Besar community, Khir briefly said that he has a business related to food.
Khir Toyo’s reappearance in the news, coupled with an open statement about his intention to try to run again, opens up new questions, whether a former assemblyman convicted of corruption and misconduct should be given a chance. In the meantime, we hope that the lessons he has shared really sink into our hearts. This lesson is also relevant to everyone, especially Ministers and elected representatives. It is time to restore people’s trust in elected representatives, regardless of ideology and party.