He was acquitted by an Australian State district court of currency regulation breaches involving more than 1.3 million Australian dollars, to wit, knowingly making a false currency report when entering Australia on 16 Dec 1996, and another of failing to declare currency when leaving six days later.
But a superior court subsequently ruled that the trial judge had made legal errors in directing a jury which acquitted him, which was not reported by Malaysian newspapers (and why should we be surprised by our mainstream media's omission?)
Luckily for him Australian law is such a person cannot be tried again on a charge of which he has been acquitted.
We’re of course talking about Muhammad Muhammad Taib (Mat Taib) who’s better known as Mike Tyson.
In an article in The Malaysian Insider today titled Mat Taib or bust for Hulu Selangor voters sweetie Clara Chooi wrote (relevant extracts only):
Barisan Nasional (BN) will cruise to victory if Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib is fielded as a candidate.
Interviews with the locals across the constituency the size of Malacca over two days, however, showed two glaringly significant trends: that voters on both camps, BN and Pakatan Rakyat, want Muhammad —or “Mat Taib” — as their MP, and that BN may face defeat if they put up Palanivel again.
Putting aside the views of cyber-cafe operator, Rozairi Mohd Zain, who said that he would look at the ‘skin colour’ of the candidate before casting his vote in the coming by-election, we even have a Chinese former DAP supporter (stress on 'former') who declared that Mat Taib is an ace.
So what do we have?
(a) a man who got away with false currency declaration in a foreign country by claiming he couldn’t speak or understand English, but subsequently found by a superior court that his acquittal was incorrect, and got away again by the legal technicality of ‘no double jeopardy’ (cannot trial a man twice for the same crime even if he is guilty)
(b) a man who needs to explain (if not to the Tax Office or the ACA/MACC, at least to us) how he came by those millions, ...
... yet is a man who is, according to sweetie Clara Chooi’s article, adored by all and sundry in Hulu Selangor, and would be a surefire walkaway victor if he stands in the coming by-election.
What does that tell you?
Again leaving aside people like Rozairi Mohd Zain who see the world through coloured lens, Malaysians in general, especially those of the earlier generations, don’t give a sh*t about corruption or corrupt pollies, or such stuff as accountability and transparency so long as they get some benefits, namely the sehelai kain pelekat and RM100 (allowing for inflation).
This has been why BN and in particular UMNO have been getting away with blatant corrupt practices for the past 52 years (and expect more years of such to come) as manifested in the overtly obscene ostentatious Bali Palace and the Satay Palace in Klang, ...
... and how 600 Janome sewing machines and even the arrogant boast of how 10 years of public works was compressed into one month won the day in the Ijok by-election in 2007.
Conclusion? Momentary syiok-ness followed by decades of marginalization are acceptable for some people - in fact they want more!
Will such an appallingly abysmal attitude prevail in the future, say in 2013?