National and international shame that Malaysia’s anti-corruption ranking so low when MACC sets world record with the greatest superstructure with the most number of bodies monitoring it to uphold integrity and accountability

It is no use the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board coming out with a sanctimonious statement that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should be given room to conduct a full and thorough investigation into the MARA property corruption scandal in Australia, and urging “all parties, including politicians” to refrain from making statements which could jeopardise the image of MACC.

Both the MACC and its Advisory Board should know that it is its own record and performance as an anti-corruption fighter which is the most powerful determinant of its image whether it is a fearless and feared anti-corruption fighter or just a “toothless tiger” as far as the corrupt among the “high and mighty” in the political world is concerned.

Next month is the sixth death anniversary of innocent DAP aide, Teoh Beng Hock, who lost his life in the very sanctum of MACC headquarters in Shah Alam on 16th July 2009, and up to now, no MACC officer has yet been penalised for Teoh’s death.

If MACC cannot even ensure that is officers uphold integrity and accountability in the death of Teoh Beng Hock, is it any wonder that public confidence in the MACC’s commitment to wage an all-out war against corruption and to upold integrity in high political places is virtually non-existent?

The MARA property corruption scandal in Australia will be an acid test whether the MACC is going to start showing that it has teeth and claws as far as fighting the corrupt among the high and mighty in the political world is concerned, or that MACC is only capable of abusing the powers as in the deaths of Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbani Mohamad in April 2011.

It does not inspire confidence that MACC will be able to achieve any breakthrough in its investigations into the MARA property corruption scandal because MACC and the MARA Inc officials seem to be of the same mindset and speaking the same language of “integrity and accountability”.

Imagine the MARA Inc Chairman Datuk Mohammad Lan Allani and the MARA Inc Chief Executive Officer Datuk Abdul Halim Rahim, the two persons directly implicated in the MARA property corruption scandal in Australia, issuing a joint statement on Saturday welcoming any investigation into MARA Inc. “investment, locally and internationally” and pledging “full cooperation and assistance” for “a fair and transparent investigation”?

Have Mohamad Lan Allani and Abdul Halim been given assurances that they will be completely in the clear, and if so, what is the rigmarole about the MACC’s continued investigations into MARA’s property corruption scandal in Australia?

I will like to see MACC living up to the parliamentary intention of being a fearless and feared anti-corruption agency, without fear or favour, including to those in high political places.

I hope to see the MACC vindicating itself in the MARA property corruption scandal by swiftly bringing the culprits to book, instead of further proving that it is a “toothless tiger” and even worse, no match for its counterparts in Australia in going after the corrupt and the crooks.

MACC has probably the biggest superstructure among nations in the world, having five purportedly independent bodies to monitor and supervise it to ensure its integrity and professionalism.

It is a national and international shame that Malaysia’s anti-corruption ranking is so low – Malaysia’s Transparency International Corruption Perception Index under Datuk Seri Najib Razak is always lower than the worst of Tun Mahahtir and Tun Abdullah years as Prime Minister from 1995 to 2009 – when MACC sets a world record as having the biggest superstructure and most number of monitoring bodies supervising it.

Lets hope that the MACC’s handling of the MARA property corruption scandal can start a new page to earn national and international respect and repute as a fearless and feared anti-corruption agency, including the politically “high and mighty”, to uphold integrity, accountability and good governance in Malaysia.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah