Guan Eng asks if MACC now a tool for ‘vested political interests’

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Lim Guan Eng arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court March 23, 2022. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Lim Guan Eng arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court March 23, 2022. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — Claiming the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commision (MACC) to be acting arbitrarily in its investigation, Opposition lawmaker Lim Guan Eng today reached out to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to intervene in the agency’s control.

The Bagan MP questioned if the MACC has “become a political weapon used or misused by vested political interests” as observed a series of what he called “omission and commission” that allow select government officials and politicians to escape the law while taking a harder stance against others.

“These mass defections by MPs and assemblymen that have been allowed to proceed unhindered have led to public opprobrium against all politicians and generated a groundswell of public support for an anti-party hopping law to outlaw elected representatives jumping from one party to another for positions of profit or public funding.

“Even when MACC files clear-cut cases of corruption in court, such charges can be withdrawn, that appears to be legitimate corruption,” the DAP national chairman said in a statement.

Lim listed the MACC’s decision to drop a court case against a former Sabah Water Department deputy director who faced 146 money laundering charges amounting to RM32.93 million.

“One wonders the logic, accountability and public morality or ethics of a money laundering case for nearly RM33 million being settled with RM30 million.

“Shouldn't the MACC be also questioning the ability to afford to pay the RM30 million compound by a former civil servant?” he asked.

He also highlighted the MACC’s immediate investigation on Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali after a fugitive blogger claimed that questionable deposits had been made to the senior judge’s bank account.

“The fact that this is the same judge that convicted former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and no prompt action was taken by MACC against RPK to check on the veracity of these allegations, including flying to London to interrogate RPK where he is now hiding, gives rise to much concern of unwanted interference by the MACC and certain vested interests,” he said.

Mohd Nazlan who was elevated to the Court of Appeal in February had been the High Court trial judge on former prime minister Najib’s RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd misappropriation case.

RPK is the abbreviation and moniker for Raja Petra Kamaruddin, a high-profile blogger who runs the Malaysia Today website who fled the country in 2009 while being tried for sedition over a post he made on the Perak constitutional crisis.

Lim said the MACC’s speed in investigating the judge was a stark contrast to action against its own chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki who was in the spotlight earlier this year over a stock trading controversy.

“Azam Baki had been exposed by the Securities Commission as lying that his brother had used his shares account by proxy when he was exposed as the sole operator.

“Justice has not been upheld in these cases above,” said Lim, a former minister.

He noted that government leaders have been silent against the perceived double-standards of the MACC and singled out former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for keeping quiet while advocating against kleptocrats being in power.

“Why is Muhyiddin still silent?

“Has MACC become a political weapon used or misused by vested political interests?” Lim asked.

He predicted that Malaysia will continue to fall down the global corruption rankings if it continues being selective in investigating and acting against those under suspicion of abuses.

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