“Mahathir ended Koon Swan’s political career”, reports Nanyang

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 11):Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was responsible for ending the political career of Tan Koon Swan, a prominent corporate strategist and politician in the 1980s, according to Chinese newspaper Nanyang Siang Pau Tuesday.
“Mahathir had told Koon Swan, who was being implicated in Singapore’s 1985 Pan-El Industries collapse, to go to Singapore for investigation and promised that nothing would happen to him,” Nanyang said, quoting an unnamed close friend of Tan.
“This untold secret of 27 years has to be made known now. Mahathir wanted Koon Swan to go to Singapore fast as he was planning to call for a general election. Koon Swan’s wife Penny Chang was against it, but Koon Swan believed in Mahathir. And when he arrived at Changi Airport he was arrested -- mentally unprepared,” his friend said.
The daily also said on several occasions before the Pan-El crisis, Mahathir wanted Tan to choose between MCA politics and business. Tan at the time was MCA president controlling at least three well-known public listed companies.
Nanyang said it failed to get Mahathir to comment on the allegation.
Nanyang’s account was similar to what Tan told this writer several years ago after an interview. At his office in Sri Petaling, Tan pointed at a picture Mahathir on his side table and said bitterly: “This is the man who was also responsible for my downfall.”
In the just-published book “Glenn Knight, The Prosecutor”, the writer Glenn Knight -- who was the famous prosecutor then -- confesses to having wrongly prosecuted Tan in 1985.
And in the chapter on Pan El crisis, Glenn mentions he had apologised to Tan Koon Swan two years ago at a function – a fact hitherto unknown.
Glenn slapped Tan with 15 charges after the collapse of Pan-El Industries which caused the Singapore stock exchange to halt trading for three days. Among others, Tan was alleged to have committed criminal breach of trust (CBT) and share manipulation, and a guilty verdict sent him to Singapore’s Changi Prison for 18 months.
In his book, Glenn has also suggested Tan to seek “pardon” from the Singapore President to wipe out his criminal record so that it would mean he had not been convicted of any wrong-doing legally.
Tan told Nanyang he had not read Glenn’s book and would not want to comment before reading it.