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Blog Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Monday, 16th November 2009: 

Indonesia 100% conviction rate for corruption of ikan yu – Malaysia 0%

During the parliamentary debate during the committee stage of the 2010 budget on the Prime Minister’s Department, I compared Malaysia to Indonesia on the anti-corruption front.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has declared that the war against corruption and fighting the “judicial mafia” would be a priority for his first 100 days of his second administration.

In Indonesia recently, there was a public movement and outcry in support of the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission or KPK (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi) whose top officers and anti-corruption campaign were undermined and threatened by the “judicial mafia” comprising top officials in the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers trying to protect the corrupt and those who abused their public positions and power.

If there is a public movement in Malaysia concerning the Malaysian Anti-Corruption (MACC), it will not be in support but in condemnation of MACC for its failure to make a dent on corruption and for lending itself to be the catspaw of Umno/Barisan Nasional in their campaign to destroy the Pakatan Rakyat.

What has the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak got to show on the anti-corruption front after his first seven months in office?

Parliament established MACC to replace the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to declare war against corruption. MACC failed in its mandate and had instead gone all-out to declare war against Pakatan Rakyat on behalf of Barisan Nasional.

What is fatally lacking in Malaysia’s campaign against corruption is “political will”. There is simply no condition to mount a successful anti-corruption campaign in any country without political will.

Since its establishment in 2002, Indonesia’s KPK has a 100 per cent conviction rate and success in exposing and prosecuting the corrupt in high places, and among its trophies are top officers in government, police, the central bank, provincial governors and city mayors.

What is MACC’s conviction rate against ikan yus among the corrupt in Malaysia? Zero per cent!

Malaysia is not short of mega scandals, the latest being the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone scandal. Malaysia makes world record in having the most number of “heinous crimes” and mega scandals but without criminals – as not a single “big gun” had been brought to court and convicted for high crimes of corruption against the state despite all the cans of worms and swamps of crocodiles in the country!

This is why there is the report today of the latest survey of voters (Sept. 16 – Oct. 12) by Merdeka Centre commissioned by the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) which found that corruption and abuse of power are the most important problem which needs to be solved.

The survey showed a whopping 74 per cent of those polled dissatisfied with the government’s handling of corruption and abuse of power issues.

Among those polled, 52 per cent felt the country was headed in the right direction, while 47 per cent were of the opinion that Malaysia was headed in the wrong direction.

For those who felt the country was going in the wrong direction, political instability and graft were listed as the top reasons.

Some of the findings of this survey include:

  • A total of 13 per cent polled felt corruption and abuse of power was the most serious problem that needed addressing, followed by social problems at 12 per cent.

  • While 74 per cent were dissatisfied with the government’s handling of graft, a total of 67 per cent were also unhappy with how the administration dealt with social problems.

  • Unsurprisingly, 81 per cent of respondents felt corruption was a serious problem.

  • Notably, the kind of graft listed as most serious was petty corruption, with 42 per cent viewing it as “very serious.” This was followed by nepotism (41 per cent), fraud (37 per cent), corruption among politicians (34 per cent), grand corruption (30 per cent) and administrative corruption (24 per cent).

  • On media reporting of corruption, 58 per cent could not name an incident of corruption that was widely reported in the media. Of the 42 per cent who could, some 42 per cent cited the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal. This was followed by corruption among politicians (12 per cent), allegations about former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Khir Toyo (eight per cent), Teoh Beng Hock/MACC (seven per cent) and money politics in Umno (six per cent).

There is a major difference between Malaysia and Indonesia. In Indonesia, the “legal mafia” to protect the corrupt and the abusers of power so as to frustrate the coruse of justice are to be found in the police and the Attorney General’s Chambers and their target is the KPK.

Malaysia’s “legal mafia” to protect the corrupt and those who abuse their powers are even more formidable than the “legal mafia” in Indonesia, as it embraces the MACC as well.

The MACC Operations Review Panel have asked for a review of the Lingam Videotape scandal as to why no action has been taken on the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

The MACC Operations Review Panel should not just review the Lingam Videotape scandal but should conduct a major review of the directions of the MACC after 11 months of operation, why it has lost even greater public support and confidence in playing the role of being Umno/BN catspaw to declare war against Pakatan Rakyat instead of being an independent and fearless agency against corruption.

This is why MACC had been mocked as “Malaysian Agency for Cow and Cars” when it tried to target the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor Mentri Besar. Its stocks fell further when MACC colluded with Umno/Barisan Nasional in the illegal power-grab in Perak by illegally harassing the Perak Speaker, Sivakumar with investigations for corrupt practice and abuses of power for initiating assembly disciplinary actions against Perak State Assembly members from Umno.

Public confidence in MACC reached the bottom with the mysterious death of DAP political aide in Selangor, Teoh Beng Hock, as Malaysians do not believe that Teoh had committed suicide from jumping to his death from the 14th floor of MACC in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009.

I call on the MACC Operations Review Panel to probe and to rein in the MACC from deviating from its statutory objective to fight corruption and to stop being a catspaw of Umno/Barisan Nasional to declare war against Pakatan Rakyat.

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



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