KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 20): Issues related to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) were among the focus of the opposition bloc during the debate session at the Dewan Rakyat today.
Among the Members of Parliament who raised the matter were Gobind Singh Deo (PH-Puchong), Hassan Abdul Karim (PH-Pasir Gudang), Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai); and Datuk Mahfuz Omar (PH-Pokok Sena).
Gobind, who questioned the propriety of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and MACC in resolving issues involving their members internally, said related cases needed a thorough and open investigation.
Touching on the detention of three MACC senior officers to assist in investigations into allegations of abuse of power and misconduct in the case of a former head of department of the commission, Gobind said the MACC should provide details of the case so that the public would not continue to speculate, adding that it should be investigated by an independent body.
“Why did the MACC make the arrest and conduct investigation? Why did it happen?” he said when debating the motion of thanks for the royal address at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.
Gobind’s statement was supported by Mahfuz, who said that the government must show its commitment to combating corruption.
Echoing the sentiment, Hassan suggested that the commission be placed under Parliament ,while Ahmad Fahmi opined that the body should be independent and accountable to Parliament.
Elaborating, Hassan said this was in line with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s decree on Sept 13, which emphasised the need to fight corruption in order to build a nation free of corruption and of integrity.
“The MACC should not be under the control of a prime minister and, of course, my suggestion needs to be discussed and scrutinised from all aspects… in terms of legislation, administration and finance to implement it.
“I suggest that the MACC be more effective in the matter of prosecution power in court (because) all this while, it only serves as an investigative body, there is no power to prosecute in court,” he said.
On Sept 3, Special Committee on Corruption (JKMR) chairman Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim said the proposal to place MACC under Parliament was being analysed.
The opposition bloc also touched on the proposal from Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang) during the debate session last Wednesday on the separation of functions of the Attorney-General and Public Prosecutor.
Gobind, who supported the proposal, said the same thing should be done to the posts of Inspector-General of Police and MACC Chief Commissioner.
“If they are under the care of certain ministries, can we be sure that what is happening in the PDRM and MACC is transparent?” he said.
Meanwhile, Hassan said the power to prosecute rested with the Public Prosecutor, who also holds the post of Attorney-General, who is responsible for being an advisor to the government and the Prime Minister, thus resulting in a conflict of interest.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Pejuang-Langkawi) also suggested the separation of the Attorney-General and Public Prosecutor’s functions, adding that the matter had to be reviewed.
“(The function) should be limited to being a public prosecutor and not saying that there is no case to be charged against certain individuals,” he said.
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