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Media statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 29th April 2011: 

Nothing for Abu Kassim to gloat about as public stocks of two-year-old MACC lower than ever plumbed by its predecessor ACA in 41 years

In the past two days, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner had been bragging about the achievements of the MACC since its establishment on January 1, 2009.

On Wednesday, at the “Corruption Destroyer of Civilisations” forum in Shah Alam, he claimed that MACC investigations are above board and that it did not take sides where political parties were concerned when it came to corruption investigations.

He said: “For us, fighting corruption is in the interest of the people. Political affiliations are of no consequence.”

Abu Kassim can tell it to the marines!

Yesterday, when presenting the MACC 2010 Annual Report, Abu Kassim was preening for praise when he rattled out the MACC’s “achievements” – 944 people arrested and 381 charged last year with a 119% increase in success rate in securing conviction as compared to 2009, when MACC made only 500 arrests and 174 cases brought to court.

In actual fact, there is nothing for Abu Kassim to gloat about as public stocks of two-year-old MACC is lower than the worst level ever plumbed by its predecessor ACA in 41 years from 1967 to 2008.

The whole objective of establishing MACC is to make a complete break from ACA which had failed to command public confidence as an efficient, independent, professional and world-class “without fear or favour” anti-corruption agency and to be modeled after Hong Kong’s renowned Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

This is not the first time that Hong Kong’s ICAC had been held up as an example for our anti-corruption agency.

The ICAC became such an example for the ACA to model after when a new Anti-Corruption Act was enacted by Parliament in 1997. At that time, ICAC experts were invited to impart expertise and advice on how the ACA could become an ICAC but all these efforts came to nought because of the lack of political will to launch an all-out war against corruption in the country.

My judgment may be harsh but it is the truth. Despite Parliament approving more powers, a bigger budget (MACC’s budget is now over RM200 a year when it was only RM70 million in 2004) and more staff ( some 3,000-strong as compared to 1,200 manpower in 2004), public confidence in MACC today is at an all-time low, taken into consideration the 41 years of ACA.

Has the MACC made any attempt to find out why public confidence in MACC is even worse than that of ACA – which is its greatest failure in the past two years?

There is a long list of reasons for MACC’s singular failure despite more powers, more funds and increased staffing but the following are some of them, viz:

  • The failure and inability of MACC to deal with “grand corruption” involving “sharks” as compared to “ikan bilis” most notably in the states of Sarawak and Sabah;

  • The illegal “political role” of MACC, arising from its lack of independence, professionalism and integrity allowing MACC to be dragooned to serve the partisan, selfish and undemocratic agenda of Umno/Barisan Nasional as in their illegal, unconstitutional and undemocratic power seizure of Perak state government from Pakatan Rakyat and in the Barisan Nasional-Pakatan Rakyat political contest;

  • the mysterious and tragic death of Teoh Beng Hock falling from the 14th floor of MACC headquarters in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009;

  • The latest case of mysterious death from a fall from height, customs officer Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed from the third floor of the MACC office in Jalan Cochkrane Kuala Lumpur on April 6, 2011; and

  • The lies and falsehoods by MACC officers at the Teoh Beng Hock inquest as well as the ongoing Royal Commission of Inquiry into Teoh Beng Hock’s death.

Has Abu Kassim addressed this important question in the 2010 MACC Annual Report – why MACC’s public stocks are even worse than the lowest ever plumbed by ACA in 41 years despite having vastly more powers, funds and staffing?

Furthermore, what is the MACC doing to command greater public confidence as compared to ACA, before it could even take the first step to try to become another ICAC? Is there any such realization and strategy for MACC at present?

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



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