After Teoh Beng Hock outrage and tragedy, is MACC determined it will never again become a political pawn to persecute the Opposition?
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must convince Malaysians that after the Teoh Beng Hock outrage and tragedy, for which there is still no closure for the Teoh Beng Hock family and justice-loving Malaysians for Beng Hock’s death at MACC premises, it is determined never again to become a political pawn to persecute the Opposition.
UMNO/BN leaders have accused the DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, of corruption in the RM2.8 million purchase of his bungalow resulting from the sale of Taman Manggis to KLDIC.
Two wrongs do not make a right, and if Guan Eng is guilty of corruption in his RM2.8 million bungalow purchase, the full rigours of the law should be applied. However, the maxim that a person is innocent until proven guilty must be scrupulously observed.
In this case, the allegation of Guan Eng’s corruption over the sale of Taman Manggis land to KLDIC has proved to be baseless, as the Taman Manggis land had been sold by the Penang State Government via open tender to the highest bidder.
Even the allegation that the DAP-led Penang State Government had “robbed” the people of low-cost housing in Taman Manggis had easily been debunked with the declassification of the State Exco minutes of the Gerakan State Government in 2005 and 2007 which showed that the government back then had no plans whatsoever to build homes for the poor. In contrast, the DAP-led Penang State Government had commenced a separate low, low-medium cost and affordable housing less than two kilometres away in Jalan S.P. Chelliah which is nearly 10 times the size of the land in Taman Manggis.
While two wrongs do not make a right, this cannot be an argument to justify MACC abuses of power.
There are two questions which MACC owes satisfactory explanation and accounting to the Malaysian public.
MACC had immediately swung into action after the corruption allegations against Guan Eng by UMNO/BN leaders, despatching scores of MACC officers to investigate Guan Eng’s case, lightning searches of the Penang Chief Minister’s Office in Komtar, carting away crates of documents.
Can MACC explain how many officers they had assigned to investigate the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak over allegations of corruption over his twin mega scandals?
As Najib’s RM4.2 billion donation scandal is 1,500 times bigger than Guan Eng’s alleged RM2.8 million bungalow scandal, while the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal is 20,000 times bigger than the alleged RM2.8 million bungalow scandal, had MACC assigned hundreds of MACC officers to investigate Najib’s twin mega scandals, conducting lightning searches of the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya and carting away lorry-loads of documents?
If not, why not?
In fact, MACC’s credibility and authority, both inside the country and internationally, is under a critical test after suffering a mortal blow at the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) with the theme “Ending Impunity: People, Integrity and Action” held in Putrajaya in early September.
Can the MACC justify to anti-corruption busters in the rest of the world why the MACC is ominously silent and inert when all over world, Najib’s twin mega scandals are making world headline news, with new exposes about what are undoubtedly Malaysia’s first global corruption in the nation’s history?
The latest 1MDB exposes in the world media, whether in United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Europe or the Middle East are about the widening of global investigation into Najib’s twin mega scandals, like Luxembourg launching a judicial inquiry into allegations of money-laundering, covering payments totaling hundreds of millions of US dollars, against 1MDB and the latest revelations stemming from Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sources that more than US$100 million of the production budget for Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street came from 1MDB.
The world media are having a field day lampooning Malaysia for this latest revelation from the 1MDB scandal, with inquisitr website (http://www.inquisitr.com/) carrying an article entitled “‘THE WOLF OF WALL STREET’ FINANCED BY WOLF OF MALAYSIA?” with the following opening paragraphs:
“The Wolf of Wall Street is a story rife with corruption. The story is based on real-life Wall Street broker Jordan Belfort, who made millions of dollars by bilking wealthy investors.
“The Wolf of Wall Street is about stolen money and international scandal, but in a strange, layered twist, authorities say the film may have been backed by stolen money and international scandal.”
Vanity Fair, in a report entitlted “In Thematically Appropriate Twist, The Wolf of Wall Street Financiers Are Under Federal Investigation”, said:
“In a development that sounds like something right out of The Wolf of Wall Street, the U.S. Department of Justice has launched a probe and full investigation at Red Granite Pictures to determine whether they used misallocated funds to finance their projects — such as The Wolf of Wall Street. It sounds too perfect to be true, one of those odd little twists of fate that keep the old ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ adage alive, but Deadline reports that the federal government has reason to believe that Red Granite cofounder Riza Aziz has engaged in some decidedly shady dealings involving the government of Malaysia, a fund known as 1MDB, and a network of offshore shell companies.
“The DoJ’s Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture arms have begun to look into the suspiciously rapid growth that the fledgling production house of Red Granite has experienced in the years since opening their doors in 2012. Aziz just so happens to be the stepson of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was personally responsible for establishing the 1MBD fund, out of which $155 million may or may not have been moved in the general direction of Red Granite. The company has unambiguously refuted all accusations of financial impropriety, pointing to their policy of transparency about the funds they receive from fair-game investors in Asia and the Middle East. But they now must answer for a tangled web of transactions that suggest underhanded dealings: last year, $681 million unaccountably appeared in PM Razak’s personal coffer and incited a sweeping inspection of his ledgers.”
Corruption busters in over half a dozen countries are crawling all over Najib’s twin mega scandals in their separate investigations and the world press in more than a dozen countries are reporting with bated breath the ongoing investigations into the twin mega scandals – except in Malaysia, where the MACC and the mainstream media and their journalists are ominously inert and silent.
How long can such façade last?