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Friday, June 1, 2012

MACC must break its silence on the corruption-cum-treason case of selling Navy secrets to foreigners in connection with the purchase of the Scorpene submarines

By Lim Kit Siang

Yesterday, public confidence in the professionalism, independence, impartiality and integrity of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) reached a new low 41 months after it was elevated from its former form as Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) with greatly expanded powers, budget and staffing.

Members of Parliament and Malaysians were promised when the MACC Bill was debated in Parliament in December 2008 that the MACC was going to become another ICAC (Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption) respected world-wide for its uncompromising and no-nonsense commitment against corruption without fear or favour for position, status or influence.

Instead, MACC continues to be a standing joke as it has not been able to
to shake off its early image as a tool of the Barisan Nasional to hound and persecute Pakatan Rakyat leaders and establish its reputation as a fearless, uncompromising and dedicated graft-fighter, whether against ikan bilis or ikan yu.

MACC harvested many media headlines yesterday, including:

“MACC clears Shahrizat of NFC contract, loan award”;

“Anti-graft panel wants Azmin probe re-opened”; and

“Probes against Taib, Musa yet to be resolved”.

But these headlines has further reinforced public perception and conviction that the MACC is making no progress whatsoever towards becoming another ICAC but just a more expensive and bloated ACA.

For 1996, Parliament approved a budget of RM29.4 million for ACA and that was the year when Malaysia was ranked No. 26 in the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) with the highest CPI score of 5.32 in the past 17 years.

For 2011, Parliament approved RM 202.2 million for MACC, about seven times the budget for ACA in 1996, but Malaysia’s TI CPI ranking plummeted to No. 60 out of 183 countries with a lowest-ever CPI score of 4.3 out of 10 in the past 17 years.

By coincidence rather than by design, the public image of MACC as an impotent and irrelevant body to deal with VIP and high-profile corruption cases was brought into sharp focus not only by the harvest of MACC headlines yesterday but also by the revelation in Bangkok by French lawyer Joseph Breham, counsel for human rights NGO Suaram in its corruption case against Paris-owned shipbuilder DCNS that the company had paid 36 million euro (RM142 million) for a secret document by the Malaysian Navy on an evaluation for the order of the Scorpene-class submarine.

The selling of top secret document from the Royal Malaysian Navy is an act of treason and national betrayal. It is also a despicable case of corruption.

Malaysians are entitled to know why the MACC, including its Operations Evaluation Panel, are totally unconcerned and unmoved by such heinous crimes of “grand corruption” when they have so much time to be pawn and catspaw of Barisan Nasional to harass and persecute Pakatan Rakyat leaders – as in the infamous case causing the death of Teoh Beng Hock in July 2009, the harassment of Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as well as the disgraceful role of MACC in the undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional toppling of the Pakatan Rakyat Perak State Government in 2009.

MACC must break its silence on the corruption-cum-treason case of selling Navy secrets to foreigners in connection with the purchase of the Scorpene submarines.

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