Transparency International-Malaysia (Ti-M) is of the view that MACC has always maintained an independent posture in fighting corruption but nevertheless there is always room for value added initiatives especially in matters pertaining to powers on prosecution against corruption cases.
Ti-M maintains that MACC should be independent and have its own prosecutorial powers. In fact, the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Corruption have forwarded the proposal of giving the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) the power to prosecute to enable it to combat corruption more effectively. They have made the proposal twice but it was rejected.
MACC’s counterpart in Indonesia (Corruption Eradication Commission or KPK) was given prosecutorial powers upon being established in 2003. Ti-M trusts MACC if given the opportunity, can perform the function efficiently devoid of any element of abuse of power. The prosecutorial powers should only be invoked if there is sufficient reason to convince the MACC advisory board, which acted as check and balance mechanism, that there is pressure or interference in MACC’s work. The important factor is however MACC’s ability to sustain the given power in times of external pressure. Recently there are reports in Indonesia of controversial attempt by certain quarters to scrap the anti-graft body’s prosecutorial authority. According to activists claim, the move is part of efforts “to limit the KPK’s power.”
Recent cases of a former Immigration Director-General (DG) being sentenced to six years prison and fined RM300,000 by the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur and the prosecution of a former CEO of an Iskandar Investment Berhad’s (IIB) subsidiary company accepting a RM400,000 bribery in return for approving the Kampung Sungai Pendas Laut road development project have been some successful stories to tell. However, Ti-M is taken aback when MACC had announced in a statement on January 27 that a former political secretary with the title of Datuk and a Director of one of the foundations headed by the former, would be charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court under the Penal Code on alleged criminal breach of trust involving more the RM1.1 million and another charge of alleged cheating involving RM1 million. Until now the Attorney-General (AG) has yet to charge the two in court.
Ti-M lauds MACC’s consultation and corruption prevention advisory panel chairman, Datuk Johan Jaffar for wanting the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to explain why these two officers have not been brought to court as announced earlier in the press by MACC. Ti-M, here again, urges the MACC to up its ante and meet public expectations. While it is understandable that it is not easy to prove bribery as it happens, the MACC keeps its efforts investigating high profile corruption cases. “Power corrupts” still holds true in any country.
Therefore, in order to have a more independent MACC that is ‘feared’ by all, Article 145 of the Federal Constitution should be amended to include the MACC as one of the two parties besides the AG to have the discretionary power to prosecute. At the moment, the Chief Commissioner and his officers have limited power only given to investigate under Section 7 of the MACC Act 2009. Based on Article 145 of the Federal Constitution, the power to prosecute in corruption cases remains with the Attorney-General. Ti-M fully agrees with MACC that we should work together as the national coalition against corruption. Our goals and objectives are the same – stop corruption!
Issued by :
Dato’ Akhbar Satar, President Email: email@example.com
Transparency International Malaysia Mobile: 017-256 0811
Dr KM Loi, Secretary-General Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transparency International Malaysia Mobile: 012-303 6757