MP SPEAKS | MACC must come clean on why no action against ‘minister’ cartel
Lim Guan Eng
Published 13 Apr 2021, 1:50 pm
MP SPEAKS | Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Azam Baki’s assurances of no political interference in high-profile corruption cases ring hollow and cannot help to preserve its good name and integrity if no action was taken against the “minister” cartel comprising top Perikatan Nasional(PN) government leaders.
MACC had acted decisively against the contract cartel that monopolised a total of 354 tenders from several ministries and government agencies, estimated at RM3.8 billion, robbing honest Malaysian entrepreneurs of their opportunity and the people of quality development.
However, MACC has failed to act decisively against the minister cartel to dispel the deep public suspicion that was expressed by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim that MACC has been weaponised as a political tool against opposition leaders to serve the PN government.
Action was taken against me immediately after PN won power, and corruption charges filed even though MACC knew there was no such cash or monies in my bank account. In an era where audio conversations can be secretively and illegally recorded, MACC could not produce any audio or video recording of me soliciting corruption.
Under the PN government, MACC is no longer seen to be an impartial, independent and professional organisation battling corruption at the highest levels, without fear or favour against the minister cartel.
Amongst some of the many glaring lapses involving abuses of power, where no action was taken by MACC are:
1. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was recorded on audio, offering political posts and positions in government-linked corporations (GLCs) in exchange for political support. Umno Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah revealed that he rejected an offer to be Petronas chairperson because it was unconstitutional. Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan rejected an offer to be chairperson of Tenaga Nasional Bhd.
2. Tebrau MP Steven Choong, who defected from PKR to support Muhyiddin, admitted that Muhyiddin promised him an official position that would provide him with a platform to rebuild the nation’s economy. Is this not an inducement for Steven Choong to jump?
3. Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun’s dubious ability to settle a bankruptcy suit for debts amounting to RM1.3 million, when she had declared assets of RM72,000 as at Nov 20, 2019 with a monthly income of RM34,000. She has refused to explain her source of wealth.
4. Former Sabah chief minister Shafie Apdal’s expose that the leader of the previous Sabah state government had awarded 700,000 acres of forest reserve land under Yayasan Sabah or Sabah Foundation to “friends and family”.
5. Deputy Defence Minister Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz, writing a letter of recommendation for his own son to be appointed into the board of directors of Pharmaniaga, a company under the oversight and authority of the Defence Ministry. Defence Minister Ismail Sabri had agreed to his deputy’s recommendation.
6. Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa writing a letter of support endorsing a contractor’s bid to be awarded a huge highway project in Kelantan via direct negotiation.
7. Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal promising to leverage on his public post to issue support letters in exchange for votes in the Bersatu Youth election.
8. Parliament Public Accounts Committee had asked for MACC to act after exposing former Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai granting a RM149.5 million contract by direct award to a company partly owned (25%) by Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodity Wee Jeck Seng.
9. The expose by Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Abdul Hamid Bador of a cartel of corrupt police officers, including a former IGP, on the payroll of crime syndicates. MACC is wrong for refusing to act by reason it is an internal police matter. Corruption must not be settled internally but resolved publicly in courts.
10. Granting of federal government contracts to office bearers of Bersatu at a Bersatu political meeting.
MACC must come clean and explain why there is still no action on the 10 cases of the minister cartel.
Malaysia’s rankings in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index(CPI) declined from 51st in 2019 to 57th in 2020. Failing to do their duty professionally and responsibly will only cause Malaysia’s CPI rankings to slip down further this year.
LIM GUAN ENG is Bagan MP, former finance minister, and former Penang chief minister.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.