TI-M: All serious allegations on graft, especially involving law enforcement agencies, must be probed urgently

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Transparency International Malaysia president Muhammad Mohan said if left unchecked, issues such as these will affect the perceptions the rest of the world has on Malaysia and the MACC, thus potentially bringing down indices such as the Corruption Perceptions Index and Global Corruption Barometer. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Transparency International Malaysia president Muhammad Mohan said if left unchecked, issues such as these will affect the perceptions the rest of the world has on Malaysia and the MACC, thus potentially bringing down indices such as the Corruption Perceptions Index and Global Corruption Barometer. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 — Any serious allegations, especially those concerning the image of a law enforcement agency entrusted to fight corruption, must be investigated urgently and transparently, Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) asserted today.

This follows the sudden resignation of Edmund Terence Gomez as a member of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel, reportedly in protest of its inaction against its chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki’s alleged ownership of millions in shares.

TI-M also expressed dismay over the recent revelations by Gomez wherein the latter had claimed he had written thrice to panel chairman Datuk Borhan Dollah to push for a meeting to be convened to discuss the “critical issue of national interest” as early as November but to no avail.

“TI-M believes all serious allegations must be investigated urgently and transparently, especially when it involves the image of the law enforcement agency entrusted to fight corruption.

“It is clear that the MACC isn’t short on independent panels and processes to investigate its officers for alleged offences and so the question remains why is there no announcement of any action being taken to date to investigate the allegations.

“Issues such as these, if left unchecked and swept under the rug will affect the perceptions the rest of the world has on Malaysia and the MACC, thus potentially bringing down indices such as the Corruption Perceptions Index and Global Corruption Barometer,” TI-M president Muhammad Mohan said in a statement here.

He also called upon the MACC to explain the delays in responding to these serious allegations and what the next course of action will be.

In his resignation letter dated December 27, Gomez said disturbing questions had been raised about the “nexus between business and law enforcement” and a “conflict of interest” situation before “suggesting a trend in this institution that must be investigated promptly”.

Gomez, a professor of political economy at Universiti Malaya’s Faculty of Economics and Administration, added that he was first made aware of the allegations against Azam in articles published at a website, and then wrote to Borhan about them several times.

Besides Borhan, Gomez said he had also written to the MACC Anti-Corruption Advisory Board chairman Tan Sri Abu Zahar Nika Ujang on three separate occasions, but these also failed to elicit any response.

Umno supreme council member Datuk Mohd Puad Zakarshi also today urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to intervene as Gomez’s resignation had raised concern over MACC’s integrity as an enforcement agency.

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