Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 29th December 2008: 

Is Ahmad Said the most suitable candidate to be the first Chief Commissioner of the MACC? 

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz was reported in the New Straits Times on Saturday as announcing that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will begin operations on Thursday on 1st January 2009 with Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general Datuk Ahmad Said Hamdan as its first chief commissioner.

The first question is whether Ahmad Said is the most suitable candidate to be the Chief Commissioner of the MACC.

Parliament and the nation have been promised that with the establishment of the MACC, purportedly modeled after Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), the new anti-corruption body can no longer be accused of being the “lapdog of the government” as the ACA had been accused of being thus far.

The implication is very clear – that the ACA had corruption cases which it had not been able to prosecute because of various constraints and considerations all boiling down to “political interference”.

If so, how many such cases are there which the MACC could re-open and would Ahmad Said be the best person to re-open all such cases or would it have been better to have a completely new head for the MACC to spearhead the transformation of the MACC to become another IACC, beginning the journey to catapult Malaysia’s ranking in Transparency International Corruption Perception Index from the country’s lowest position of No. 47 to be among the world’s ten or twenty least corrupt nations like New Zealand (No. 1), Singapore (No. 4), Australia (No. 9), Hong Kong (No. 12 ) and Japan (No. 18)?

With the MACC starting operations on January 1, would Malaysians be able to see the stark difference between the new MACC and the old ACA in its first two weeks of operation?

* Lim Kit Siang,  DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor