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
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
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.