Former police chief Musa Hassan has described the move by his detractors and those making damning allegations about his links with the underworld as a concerted effort to tarnish his reputation.
Musa claimed that they went after him because he was the investigating officer in former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim's Sodomy I trial.
"There is a group of former police officers who conspire together, and they are out to tarnish my reputation. This may be related to the Anwar (Sodomy I) case as I was the investigating officer.
"If my reputation is destroyed, Anwar can use that against me to claim that I framed him. I think this has some connection...".
However, Musa, 60, stopped short of suggesting that the former police officers making the allegations against him had ties with Anwar, only saying "maybe".
Two retired senior police officers, former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief Mat Zain Ibrahim and former Commercial Crime Investigations Department (CCID) director Ramli Yusuf, have been vocal against Musa.
Both have called for a tribunal to be set up to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by Musa and attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail.
Asked whether he plans to file legal suits against those who made the allegations, Musa replied "no".
The former inspector-general of police (IGP) was asked several times in an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini about his purported links with Johor-based Goh Cheng Poh or Tengku Goh , who was arrested by the CCID in 2007 and placed under restricted residence.
Musa, however, repeatedly denied any involvement with the alleged underworld kingpin.
'I do not know Tengku Goh'
The former police chief insisted that he did not know Tengku Goh, and said he heard of the allegation that Tengku Goh was involved in illegal horse racing, but there was no evidence to suggest this against the man.
"I do not know this Tengku Goh character and have not met him. I only know of his arrest for alleged gambling by CCID, and that he was exiled to Jeli. Gambling is not under CCID, but under D7 of the Criminal Investigation Department. Why was CCID or he (Ramli) involved?
"I got to know that the statements leading to Tengku Goh's arrest were fabricated as they took statements from those who did not know him," he added.
Musa also denied allegations made by Ramli that he, Gani and the then Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) had conspired to fix the CCID chief and his officers.
Ramli, in his allegations dubbed as Copgate , said he was appointed by former deputy home minister Johari Baharom in 2007 to jointly co-chair a task force to wipe out the loan shark menace in Johor, where Musa was once the state chief police chief.
Ramli ( left ) claimed that during the investigation his men found links between Tengku Goh and Musa, and in order to protect the then police chief, Gani and the ACA used the information from the confidential investigation papers prepared by the CCID to turn over their whistleblowers.
As a result, six police officers serving under Ramli were subsequently suspended and charged in a sessions court for fabrication of evidence, but they were acquitted without their defence being called and later reinstated by IGP Ismail Omar.
A number of whistleblowers who implicated Musa on his links with Tengku Goh later made another statutory declaration that was also classified as 'confidential' in which they claimed they were "forced" to withdraw their accusations.
When it was pointed to Musa that there were allegations of criminal syndicates allegedly close to Tengku Goh using his name to avoid action by the police, the former IGP shot back that anyone who did that would be arrested.
"If they mention my name, I will direct action to be taken and arrest them," he said.
The CCID investigation was apparently prompted by a 2007 poison-pen letter that was sent to then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his cabinet members.
Musa, in the first part of his interview yesterday, claimed that his tough actions against leaders of the underworld in Johor and elsewhere involved in drug trafficking, human trafficking, gaming syndicates and money laundering, had caused him to suffer a backlash .
Asked about another allegation that his action was actually to reorganise the underworld under a single kingpin, Musa said he would be stupid to do this, since the criminal syndicates already had its own network.
"It is not easy to break the network... If I want money, I would do so from an old network and not form a new network. This is illogical... it is illogical for me to do that and control one person.
"Even if this is done, wouldn't you think that others will not kill this person? After all, we are talking about gangsters here," he said.
Who is BK Tan?
Musa was also asked to reply to allegations that he had involved another shadowy figure, BK Tan, in the promotions and transfers of certain police officers.
His retort was, "Who is this Tan?" and went on to add that there were 20 people carrying that initials.
Asked about allegations that this BK Tan had an office at Amcorp Mall in Petaling Jaya, Musa challenged the authorities to carry out an investigation.
"There was one BK Tan from Old Klang Road and I have had him arrested," he said.
"Furthermore, those (police officers) promoted were vetted by the prime minister and he also checked on their disciplinary record. Furthermore, they were also vetted by the Police Commission," he said.
Asked about a claim that his former aide-de camp, Noor Azizul Rahim, had himself witnessed Musa and BK Tan discussing police promotions and he had made a statutory declaration about the matter, Musa retorted that as police chief he could consult anyone to find out more on the background of his officers.
"Are you telling me I cannot consult anyone? I want to get everybody's views on how they view the OCPDs (officers-in-charge of police districts) so I can promote those who can work. Is this wrong?" he asked.
Asked again whether this included BK Tan, Musa flipped and demanded that Malaysiakini produces this Tan.
Malaysiakini had earlier this year reported that Noor Azizul was willing to come forward should there be a tribunal to tell all about what he had alleged in his statutory declaration - that he saw Tan go to Musa's Petaling Jaya home carrying a confidential folder containing the promotions and transfers of police officers.
Ramli's complaint made by Jeffrey Kitingan
Musa also revealed that the action taken against Ramli was from a report lodged by Jeffrey Pairin Kitingan who claimed that the former CCID director, once the Sabah chief police officer, had 200 acres land of in Sabah.
"The allegation was made by (former Sabah chief minister) Joseph Pairin's brother, Jeffrey ( right ). This prompted the ACA investigations.
"I was also investigated by the ACA and I gave my bank account (during the height of the underworld links allegation) so that they could check and monitor," he said.
"Hence, the allegation that I framed Ramli is incorrect as the complaint was made by Jeffrey. Are you telling me that we should not act on the report made?" Musa demanded.
Ramli, who had been implicated as the RM27 million cop , had been cleared of allegations of non-declaration of assets to the ACA and of abuse of power in using a police Cessna aircraft over Sabah.
He was initially charged in a sessions court in Sabah and also in Kuala Lumpur. All the courts - from the sessions to the High Court and the Court of Appeal - upheld his acquittal without calling Ramli to make his defence.
There is still an appeal pending on one of Ramli's summons cases in Kuala Lumpur, for which he was charged with not declaring to the authorities that he was in business as a director of a private firm. The sessions court, which heard the charge, acquitted him.
Yesterday: When ex-IGP was haunted by 'Godfather'