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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

MACC, A Truly Professional Body With Integrity?

Malaysiakini takes on the MACC: MACC chief's power of disclosure is limited.
Malaysia Anti Corruption Commission, (you can call it whatever name you want) will and can never achieve its main aim of fighting corruptions. Why is it so, just read the statement below and what I have to say after that.
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has urged everyone to accept the decision of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to close 45 cases of political corruption against Umno leaders due to the lack of concrete evidence.

The sources also said that the MACC could not file a complete and strong case because the complainants only submitted a general complaints without evidence to support their case.

Why must Badawi comes out and urged everyone to accept the decision of MACC decisions to close any cases. The reason given by him is lack of concrete evidence while the MACC reasoning is that the MACC could not file a complete and strong case because the complainants only submitted a general complaints without evidence to support their case.

Can you all see how weak Badawi and the MACC are, they simply cannot act against evil umno members without concrete evidence, so how are they going to get the bigger fish?

Do you think that people who are corrupted will leave evidences around for you to catch them? What is the job of the MACC, to sit around waiting for "complaint with evidence" before they can act. This must be the biggest joke from the newly minted MACC. If anyone who make a complaint must come with evidence, then why do we need the MACC for?

The Star headline: “Good start, says Hong Kong’s ICAC”, quoting the deputy commissioner and head of operations of Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Daniel Li for the creation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officially launched by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday.

Now we are at par or even better than the Hong Kong ICAC, one must be thinking. Bullocks, we are no where when compared to the ICAC or Singapore CPIB. I took the liberty to run through the Hong Kong ICAC website and reproduce certain quality of their organisation as compared to our MACC.
ICAC History
Hong Kong was in a state of rapid change in the 1960s and 70s. The massive growth in population and fast expansion of the manufacturing industry accelerated the pace of social and economic development. The Government, while maintaining social order and delivering the bare essentials in housing and other services, was unable to meet the insatiable needs of the swelling population. This provided a fertile environment for the unscrupulous. Many people had to take the "backdoor route" simply to earn a living and secure other than basic services. "Tea money", "black money", "hell money" - whatever its name - became not only familiar to many Hong Kong people, but accepted with resignation as a necessary way of life.

Corruption was rampant in the public sector. Ambulance crews would demand tea money before picking up a sick person and firemen would solicit money before turning on the hoses to put out a fire. Even hospital amahs asked for "tips" before giving patients a bedpan or a glass of water. Offering bribes to the right officials was also necessary when applying for public housing, schooling and other public services. Corruption was particularly serious in the Police Force. Corrupt police officers offered protection to vice, gambling and drug activities. Law and order was under threat. Many in the community had fallen victim to corruption. And yet, they swallowed their anger.

"I think the situation calls for an organisation, led by men of high rank and status, which can devote its whole time to the eradication of this evil." Sir Murray told legislators. "A further and conclusive argument is that public confidence is very much involved. Clearly the public would have more confidence in a unit that is entirely independent, and separated from any department of the Government, including the Police."

Many in the community sensed the wind of change at this time. They started to see the Government setting the stage for the birth of an effective anti-corruption regime.

Read the full ICAC history here.

ICAC Mission And Pledges

With the community, the ICAC is committed to fighting corruption through effective law enforcement, education and prevention to help keep Hong Kong fair, just, stable and prosperous.

Code of Ethics

Officers of the ICAC will at all times uphold the good name of the Commission and:

* Adhere to the principles of integrity and fair play
* Respect the rights under the law of all people
* Carry out their duties without fear or favour, prejudice or ill will
* Act always in accordance with the law
* Not take advantage of their authority or position
* Maintain necessary confidentiality
* Accept responsibility for their actions and instructions
* Exercise courtesy and restraint in word and action
* Strive for personal and professional excellence

Performance Standards

We are committed to achieving the following performance standards:

* Respond to a report of corruption within 48 hours.
* Respond to a report which does not involve corruption within two working days.
* Respond to a request for corruption prevention advice within two working days.
* Respond to a request for anti-corruption education services or information within two working days.

Legal Empowerment

Unlike other crimes, corruption always entails a satisfied relationship between two parties and thus is extremely difficult to investigate and prove in court. It is the public that is the victim. The ICAC is therefore given legal powers to investigate and bring the corrupt to book under three specific ordinances:
The Independent Commission Against Corruption Ordinance:

* Establishes the ICAC and prescribes the duties of the ICAC Commissioner.
* Sets the parameters of ICAC investigations, procedures for handling suspects and the disposal of property connected with offences.
* Gives the ICAC the powers of arrest, detention and granting bail, which are fundamental to any law enforcement agency.
* Confers on the ICAC the powers of search and seizure that are consistent with the powers of arrest and detention.
* Permits the ICAC to take a non-intimate sample from a person for forensic analysis.
* Empowers the ICAC to investigate any alleged offence of blackmail committed by a public servant through misuse of office as well as crimes facilitated by or connected with suspected corruption offences.

The Prevention of Bribery Ordinance:

* Specifies the offences of bribery involving civil servants, public bodies and private sector employees.
* Gives the ICAC powers of investigation to unravel and identify transactions and assets concealed in different guises by the corrupt. The powers include:
o Searching bank accounts.
o Holding and examining business and private documents.
o Requiring the suspects to provide details of their assets, income and expenditure.
* Confers on the ICAC the powers to detain travel documents and restrain disposal of property in order to stop the corrupt from attempting to flee Hong Kong or laundering their ill-gotten gains so as to avoid forfeiture by the courts.
* Gives the ICAC the power to protect confidentiality of an investigation.

The Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance:

* Ensures that public elections are conducted fairly, openly and honestly and are free from corrupt and illegal conduct.
* Applies to the elections of the Chief Executive, and members of the Legislative Council, Election Committee Subsector, District Council, Heung Yee Kuk, the Chairman or Vice-chairman or members of the Executive Committee of a Rural Committee and village representatives.

ICAC Checks And Balances

Balancing Forces

The investigative power of the ICAC is structured to ensure there will be no abuse. A robust system of checks and balances has been put in place that includes:

* Chief Executive/Executive Council
The ICAC is directly accountable to the Chief Executive and the ICAC Commissioner reports to the Executive Council on major policy issues.
* Legislative Council
The Council holds the authority of conferring and repealing the powers of the ICAC. The ICAC Commissioner is required to answer to the Council on policy and funding matters.
* Separate Power of Prosecution
After completion of investigations, the power to prosecute is vested with the Secretary for Justice, and the separation of powers ensures that no case is brought to the courts solely on the judgement of the ICAC.
* Independent Judiciary
An independent judiciary ensures that the ICAC does not step out of line. The ICAC is required to seek prior court approval for exercising certain powers, and will carefully consider comments from the court and conduct reviews on operational procedures to avoid misuse of power.
* Media
The ICAC is subject to close public scrutiny through the mass media.
* Advisory Committees
There are four advisory committees comprising prominent citizens appointed by the Chief Executive and chaired by civilian members to oversee the work of the ICAC. More
* ICAC Complaints Committee
The Independent ICAC Complaints Committee monitors and reviews all non-criminal complaints against the ICAC or its staff. The Committee is chaired by an Executive Councillor and includes members of the Legislative Council and prominent members of the community appointed by the Chief Executive. More
* Internal Monitoring
The ICAC demands a high standard of integrity from its staff. Since its inception, an internal investigation and monitoring unit, L Group, has been established to investigate all allegations of corruption and related offences made against the ICAC staff.

Advisory Committees

There are four advisory committees comprising prominent citizens appointed by the Chief Executive to oversee the work of the ICAC. All four advisory committees are chaired by civilian members.

Read more details here.

Compare yourself by visiting the Hong Kong ICAC Website and our very own MACC Website

The conclusion is that our MACC will only act upon receiving complainer's report with evidence. No evidence, no case? This is truly Malaysia bodoh Boleh style.

My suggestions on how and what the MACC scope of work should be.

"Prevention is better than cure"
MACC must go down to the ground and get dirty to prevent or minimise any kind of corruptions from taking place. Disguise yourself and mix around at areas that are potential for corruptions to take place. Do I need to tell you where to start looking?

Haul in all existing corrupter.
Sniff around, search for evidences, bank accounts, properties and the simplest action is to look at those who are living beyond their means and lifestyle.
You need not wait for "report with evidence" which you can wait till the cow comes home and you will not get one.

Without Fear and Favor.
MACC must act without Fear Or Favor to prove that they are truly a professional body with integrity.

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