MACC should be free to fight corruption | Selangorkini

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MACC should be free to fight corruption

Recently, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) stole the spotlight when its Chief Commissioner, Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad rapped Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Paul Low’s proposal to form the National Integrity and Governance Department (JITN).

On the contrary, Dzulkifli said, the minister should ask for more allocation for MACC, enhance its asset and workforce as well as improve the staffs’ welfare rather than establishing another agency.

Last July 28, the cabinet agreed to upgrade the Integrity and Governance Section under the Prime Minister’s Office, to become a full-fledge department known as JITN.

JITN will play a role as a body that synchronises any transformation in the public sector that focus on good governance, integrity and human rights.

Dzulkifli however described JITN as being formed to control MACC and strongly protest against it. In fact, he said JITN is a real waste.

Various reactions arose following that statement. Some described it as arrogant, rude and not following the proper channel whereas it was in fact a cabinet’s decision.

Some said that demanding total freedom for MACC is a right move. Some agreed that having JITN will result in Malaysia having too many government agencies to fight corruption and power abuse.

Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad SPRM

For me, while MACC’s bureaucratic red tape, assets and workforce as well as its role in fighting corruption and power abuse is important, however isn’t there a bigger thing that the country is facing which we need to address?

It is none other than the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal. It is like a dinosaur’s carcass in front of our eyes but we are unable to dispose it for years.

It is a scandal that has cost billions of loses to the country, coming from public funds such as the KWSP, KWAP and Tabung Haji. It is a scandal that many other countries are investigating except Malaysia.

A scandal that has caught the attention of the American Department of Justice (DoJ) that it had opened an investigation paper on it.

A scandal that has hampered the country’s economy performance, unlike what we are told. Scandal that has tarnished the country’s reputation and caused the world to look down on us.

It is a scandal that has caused those investigating or questioning to be subjected to action however those being questioned and allegedly involved have neither been interrogated nor detained.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was sacked as Attorney General and many senior officers from in MACC were transferred.

This is a scandal involving MO1 who is the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak himself, relating to RM2.6 billion and RM42 million of SRC International Bhd’s (former 1MDB’s sussidiary) money, which was allegedly deposited into his private account.

A scandal that has led the dissolution of the highest level of Special Action Committee led by Abdul Gani Patail together with officials from MACC, police and Bank Negara Malaysia.

It is so clear that Datuk Seri Najib’s intervention in 1MDB issue is hard to hide when he himself is the 1MDB Advisory Board Chairman, he himself had sacked the Deputy Prime Minister and the Attorney General and himself had allegedly ordered for investigations on 1MDB to be stopped.

The strange thing is, when I looked back at Datuk Seri Najib’s speech during the Invest KL conference last July, it seemed to me to be the best joke of the year.

He admitted to negligence and weaknesses in 1MDB’s governance and was determined to address them by ordering an investigation unprecedented in the nation’s history.

It is October now, three months from the time of the speech. Where is this unprecedented investigation?

Meanwhile, during MACC’s 50 years anniversary last October 1, Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced a RM5 million allocation for Yayasan Prihatin SPRM, whose role is to look after the welfare of MACC employees.

“As a symbol of my support to MACC, I gladly announce a RM5 million fund for Yayasan Prihatin SPRM,” he said.

This gift, despite being said to look after the welfare of MACC’s employees, it created many speculations and suspicions on the motives behind it.

It is true that MACC employees’ welfare should be taken seriously however in the situation where the government led by Datuk Seri Najib has been tarnished with the 1MDB scandal, MACC should reject this gift.

If MACC wants to prove it freedom and professionalism in fighting corruption and power abuse, hence they should investigate 1MDB which is the mother of all corruption and power abuse.

The MACC Chief Commissioner can be firm in opposing the formation of JITN and firm in rejecting the RM5 million. However, he should also be firm in the 1MDB investigation.

I believe, and I am confident that the citizens also understand that MACC is not the sole cause of the problem, neither are other government agencies.

The root cause is Datuk Seri Najib and Umno BN leaders who are kleptocrats or thieves. Although we are now hearing many cases of bribery being investigated but a case as huge as 1MDB is still being overlooked.

It is the people who feels the impact as their funds have been used to save 1MDB while they need to pay the GST and prices of goods are becoming more expensive and cost of living is increasing.

As a truly free and professional agency, MACC should report to Parliament, have the power to prosecute and given budget, resources and ability to recruit the best officers to ensure corruption and power abuse can be fought and totally eradicated, without being threatened, intimidated or pressured.

BY: Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, Peoples’ Justice Party Head of Information.