We have heard repeatedly that the MACC is independent, transparent and professional. However, the public were never made to realise that the MACC is in fact independent and transparent apart from of course professionalism. The MACC were trying very hard to convince the public that it is an independent Commission in fighting corruption. The Commission were trying to be transparent in whatever they do. However, many outside there did not give them a chance to communicate and show they are really and truly an independent Commission and are actually transparent.
The MACC had unexhaustively tried to convince the public that they are really and truly independent by explaining in depth the formation of five committees and two panels which oversee all aspects of the Commission’s chores. The committees are the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board, Special Committee on Corruption, Complaints Committee, Operation Review Panel and, Corruption Consultative And Prevention Panel. The members of the committees and panels are professionals and academicians, who are respected and have high integrity.
It is worth mentioning that the Special Committee on Corruption is being headed by YB Dato’ Seri Mohd Radzi bin Sheikh Ahmad with members comprising YB Dato’ Hj Abdul Rahman bin Dahlan, YB Dr Tan Seng Giaw, YB Salahuddin bin Hj Ayub, YB Senator Ir Hj Zamri bin Hj Yusuf and YB Senator Dato’ Armani bte Hj Mahirudin. These committee members are representatives of the various political parties including BN, DAP, PAS, and PKR.
Apart from the formation and appointment of the committees and panels, the MACC had often highlighted its investigations against many high profile individuals especially both in BN and PKR. Many were not convinced that the MACC had done a good job in investigating the many high profile individuals. They had often been cursed and blasted as a tool to the ruling government to bring down the PKR rule in Selangor.
On the 26 May 2010, the MACC had submitted its annual report for the year 2009 to this Special Committee on Corruption. Then the top management of MACC were summoned by the Special Committee for further explanations and clarifications on the annual report. Subsequently, the Special Committee on Corruption prepared and submitted its findings and recommendations to the Prime Minister, who shall lay the annual report before each House of Parliament. The annual report has been since laid in both the House of Parliament on 17 July 2010 and 21 July 2010 respectively. These events proved that MACC is indeed independent as being said.
Many times the other committees or panels especially the Operations Review Panel had appeared to talk to the press on the investigations conducted by MACC. However, they failed to convince the press and the public that MACC is transparent in performing their task especially pertaining to high profile cases. MACC had been all the while numb when it comes to questions regarding high profile cases. However, today the Operations Review Panel came out from their closet to reveal among others that there were three high profile cases which had been suggested to be closed by the Deputy Public Prosecutor and reviewed by the panel headed by YBhg Tan Sri Datuk Dr Hadenan bin Abdul Jalil and members comprising Nik Mohd Hasyudeen bin Yusoff, Datin Aminah binti Pit Abd Rahman, Dato’ Md Hamzah bin Md Kassim and Prof Dr Syed Noh Syed Ahmad.
The Panel had explained that the three investigation papers were brought to them before being closed by the MACC. The three investigation papers were on YB Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, the Mentri Besar of Selangor alleged corrupt practices involving his Hari Raya open house in 2008, YB Datuk Seri Ong Tee Kiat for the alleged corruption amounting to RM 10 million from Kuala Dimensi, and YB Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai alleged corruption of a Alphard MPV. The Panel on reviewing the papers concurred with the decision of MACC and the Deputy Public Prosecutor that there were insufficient evidence or no evidence at all to substantiate the allegations.
I believe, with periodic exposure of the outcomes of the investigations that had been carried out by MACC will improve the perception of the public on MACC and gain support to fight corruption. MACC will eventually be seen as independent and transparent in their fight against corruption even though cases investigated were not brought to trial. The public had been made to understand that the MACC is only legally empowered to investigate corruption, but the power to prefer charge is in the good hands of the Attorney General by virtue of Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution and section 58 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.
Well, it is insufficient for MACC to be independent and transparent in their investigation but the public must be with them to fight corruption. Surely the fight against corruption will be successful if all walks of life joint in the fight by restraining from giving or offering bribes and reporting any alleged demand of gratification to the MACC. It is crucial for the citizen to fight corruption otherwise the country is going to loose on foreign direct investment to other developing countries. The fight against corruption is important to improve the corruption perception index and to be sustainable economically in this changing world.
21 July 2010