MACC not a political tool for your convenience, says chief

Julia Chan
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, chief commissioner Latheefa Koya speaks at the launch TM Berhad’s Group Integrity and Governance at the TM Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur September 6, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KOTA KINABALU, Sept 11 — Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Latheefa Koya today issued another reminder warning against filing complaints with it for political brownie points.

She said the commission investigates all complaints, but often finds that in many cases, the complaints filed were motivated by vendetta.

“The MACC has long been used as a political tool — people lodge reports just to get at each other.

“There are a lot of situations where people come to report and then make a press conference just to say ‘I’ve done it’, so this is the problem.

“We urge people to stop using MACC as a political tool. If you have a complaint, it doesn’t matter who you are. Come to us with a complaint and information and we will look into it,” she told reporters after a courtesy visit to Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.

Latheefa was asked her response to an Opposition politician who accused the MACC of being partial in investigating corruption claims involving the new ruling coalition.

In reply, the former lawyer said the MACC does not stop investigations because of a change of government, but only when there is insufficient information beyond the initial complaint.

“We will investigate a complaint, but when there is a basis. Sometimes a complaint is just a complaint.

“If the Opposition feel that we don’t look at their case, maybe they have to look back at the way their complaint was made. Is it with substance or is it just a complaint? Do they make statements in public or in the media or come to us with the information?” she posed.

Last month, Parti Solidarity Tanah Airku president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan urged the MACC to be fair in their investigation of cases and reminded them of two cases involving Shafie, and Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony.

Shafie was previously investigated by the MACC in 2017 and was held in lockup before he came to office in May 2018 while Anthony was remanded by MACC for an investigation into a RM155 million sale of land to the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda).

Meanwhile, Latheefa also said that her meeting with Shafie was positive, and he had agreed to set up an integrity unity within his department as proposed by the MACC as a preventive measure against corruption.

“We’ve also offered to place a senior officer within the chief minister’s office as a measure of prevention to ensure no there is opportunity for corruption, and the CM said we are welcome. We are ironing out details on the placement and will let you know soon,” she said.

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