Saturday, August 26, 2017

MACC want more power? No need MACC Pledge? More independence for MACC?

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) seems to be doing more work - more investigations, more people getting charged, etc...and now they want more bite to act against corrupt public officials, including ministers, assemblymen and other politicians.

MACC have been pushing for State governments to take MACC's Corruption Free Pledge - which really is a waste of time, UNLESS the law is amended that will result in increased(or even doubled) penalty when persons who have taken the pledge commits a corruption or corruption related crime...

All Malaysians are expected to obey the law, and if they break the law, they will be charged, tried and, if found guilty, they will be convicted and sentenced. 

All Members of Parliament, Senators, State Assembly Persons, Prime Minister, Menteri Besar and Ministers also takes an oath of office that already is a commitment to do their duties faithfully and cleanly. Likewise, even public servants takes similar 'oaths' or agrees that they would do no wrong. 

In short, in my opinion, MACC is wasting its time with this MACC Pledge - it is an exercise not required. MACC should increase efforts in investigation and prosecution.

Some in Malaysia believe that MACC (and even the police) may not be brave enough to investigate crimes of the rich and powerful... especially those who hold political power. 

MACC should also be more 'professional' 

There really is no necessity for remanding suspects during investigation period. Most suspects could simply be asked to turn up when MACC wants to question them...or when MACC needs them for some other reasons like being part of an 'identification parade', etc. 

Arresting and detaining a suspect for days is wrong, in my opinion. More so, when in Malaysia, we still do not have a law that provides for adequate compensation for the loss of liberty and freedoms. And we have allegations of torture, deaths in custody...and also poor lock-up conditions..


When a suspect is detained, but later is not charged, tried and convicted, should he/she not be COMPENSATED for the loss of liberties and rights, and for the extra monies he/she had to spend in getting lawyers, etc. Should he/she not be compensated for the damage to his/her reputation. Time for Malaysia to have a law that justly compensates persons who have been deprived their rights, freedoms and liberties wrongly by the relevant authorities. Persons arrested and remanded for days, and not charged should be compensated. Persons found not guilty after trial and/or appeals, who had been detained and/or restricted must be compensated.

Media now reports on arrests, detention, raids, etc ...and, many people, believe that such persons and/or companies are 'guilty'. Media and authorities seldom comes out later and say that the suspicions were unfounded, or that investigations disclosed insufficient evidence to warrant the charging of a person, etc. Even if the media does not report, the relevant department/agency/Ministry could post such notifications on their own websites. This would be just for the victims.

We all know that it is difficult to get sufficient evidence for all acts of corruption committed by the perpetrator. A police personnel could have been taking 'bribes' for years - but then he is caught and charged for just one crime - as such, when it comes to public servants and/or persons in government owned companies or GLCs, then the penalty imposed must be higher. Fines should also be increased to at least 10 times the amount involved, and maybe even doubled when the perpetrator is a public servant, member of the administration, government appointee and/or in a GLC. It is absurd that a person, who has 'taken' millions of ringgit worth of monies, to be simply fined a few thousand ringgit. Corruption and/or Kleptocracy and abetment of such offences by public servants, government appointees/nominees and Ministers must be penalised severely...

Investigation and prosecutorial authorities, from the start of investigation, must have the power to freeze accounts or prevent the disposal of the monies/properties. It was shocking that the billions of ringgit in Najib's personal account was no more there at the end of the investigation, when our Attorney General announced that he will not prosecute the case...That monies should have been 'frozen' and prevented from being taken out of Malaysia until investigation was over.

Kleptocracy - Maybe the MACC may want to propose new offences that cover all such actions. 

The Auditor General's report contains so many allegations, which MACC should really look into. MACC, the police and other relevant authorities must act each and every case mentioned in the Auditor General's report.

1MDB and matters related - What is MACC doing about this? Are they still investigating - or have they 'closed' all investigations? We know that earlier MACC was investigating but there were hurdles as this investigation was not simply confined to Malaysia ...but went beyond Malaysia's borders. Not everyone hide the monies in their homes. Corruption and/or 'Kleptocracy' is difficult to prove, as perpetrators of these crimes are also becoming more creative in hiding the crime. MACC asked for the Attorney General to give them the requisite permission needed for them to get a  Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) from foreign countries but it was not given because Malaysian AG then decided that investigation was 'closed'. Odd decision by AG because normally the prosecution authority will only decide whether there was sufficient evidence to prosecute or not, and, if not, the matter reverts back to the enforcement and/or investigating authority to do more investigation and find sufficient evidence.

In any event, now that United States Department of Justice has commenced several legal actions, whereby it has also been disclosed copious amounts of facts, the question is whether the MACC and the Malaysian police are doing anything. Are they looking at the new information provided, and liaising with the US authorities, and authorities of other countries, to determine whether any crimes were committed. YES - both the police and MACC, together with other enforcement agencies in Malaysia, need to be looking closely to see whether any crimes have been committed that can be prosecuted(or acted upon) by the Malaysian authorities in Malaysia. It will be good if the MACC and the Malaysian police tells us in Malaysia whether they are doing anything... or what is the status of their investigation.

22 July 2016 - that was the last time MACC told is about their cooperation with DOJ in US, what has happened. It has been more than 13 months... Any updates. Has MACC focus expanded - or is it still focused on just one businessman.

Berhubung laporan Jabatan Kehakiman (DOJ) Amerika Syarikat (AS) mengenai 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) mengesahkan telah menjalinkan kerjasama dengan Biro Siasatan Persekutuan (FBI). Ini kerana keduadua pihak telah mempunyai hubungan kerjasama yang lama sebelum ini. 

Berkaitan kerjasama yang dinyatakan di atas, ia tertumpu kepada kemungkinan perbuatan penyelewengan dan pengubahan wang haram oleh seorang ahli perniagaan yang dikatakan menipu 1MDB. 

22 JULAI 2016

It is good that the MACC wants  wants more bite to act against corrupt public officials, including ministers, assemblymen and other politicians.

It must take into account the recent High Court judgment(see media report below), the court seem to suggest that the Prime Minister, Minister, Deputy Minister and Public Secretaries are not public servants...and these means that all provisions in law providing for crimes done by public servants will not be applicable to the PM and 'members of administration'. As such MACC, must either seek for an amendment that will include specifically all these 'members of administration' as being public servants...OR create new offences to cover these 'members of administration' to prevent corruption, kleptocracy and abuses of power..

...the High Court has ruled that the Prime Minister is not a public officer in public office.It held that the premier is also not in public services as defined under the Federal Constitution but “a member of administration”...“The court agreed that the Prime Minister, Minister, Deputy Minister and political secretaries are not in public services or public officers but members of administration,”
Should MACC be made more independent - with the ability to charge and prosecute without the requirement of the Attorney General(or Public Prosecutor)'s permission? Should MACC also be vested with the power to issue its own Certificate of "Mutual Legal Assistance" - no more the need to ask the AG

Now, for the purposes of investigating corruption, kleptocracy and similar offences, there is a need to get assistance from institutions and agencies in other countries for the purposes of completing investigation and securing necessary evidence

MACC wants more muscle

Saturday, 29 April 2017

PETALING JAYA: The anti-graft body wants more bite to act against corrupt public officials, including ministers, assemblymen and other politicians.

There is a loophole in the existing law that needs to be plugged so that no one can escape punishment.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki said many politicians were being appointed into government bodies, including government-linked companies (GLCs).

“Public officials awarding contracts to immediate family members and tender abuses are a very serious problem in the country, especially in GLCs.

“So we need to tighten the law, specifically Section 23 of the MACC Act,” he said in an interview with Sin Chew Daily.

Section 23 prohibits “an officer of a public body or public officials” from abusing their power for any gratification for themselves or for their relatives.

Offenders face a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of RM10,000 or five times the amount of bribes involved, whichever is higher.

Azam said Section 23 needed to be worded clearly to prevent immediate family members, relatives, cronies or proxies of public officials from being awarded government contracts.

He said besides the amendment, a new law – the Corporate Liability Act – is being mooted to crack down on government officials and private sector employees who are guilty of corruption and abuse of power.

Among others, this new law aims to prevent the private sector from bribing public officials.

In addition, companies implicated in a corruption scandal will be blacklisted or face other legal action.

“We’ve discussed the legal details with the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

“The Bill has also received the go-ahead from the Cabinet and is expected to be tabled in the coming Parliament session in October,” said Azam.

He said the main objective of the Bill was to compel the private sector to stay away from corruption.

“If the employer or an employee is implicated in a graft charge, the company should bear the responsibility,” he said.- Star, 26/8/2017

‘The PM is not a public officer’

KUALA LUMPUR: In a landmark judgment, the High Court has ruled that the Prime Minister is not a public officer in public office.

It held that the premier is also not in public services as defined under the Federal Constitution but “a member of administration”.

High Court judge Abu Bakar Jais made this observation in allowing an application by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to strike out a lawsuit against him for misfeasance in public office.

Najib succeeded in striking out a lawsuit by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and two others against him for alleged wrongful exercise of authority in public office.

Justice Abu Bakar ordered the plaintiffs to pay Najib RM30,000 in legal costs.

Speaking to reporters after the proceedings in chambers yesterday, Najib’s lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun said it was a landmark judgment.

“The court agreed that the Prime Minister, Minister, Deputy Minister and political secretaries are not in public services or public officers but members of administration,” said Mohd Hafarizam yesterday.

In a written judgment to the media later, Justice Abu Bakar said the suit was obviously “unsustainable”.

“There is actually no reasonable cause of action and as a whole, on the facts and laws, the claim is frivolous and vexatious.

“It is fundamental to appreciate that a suit can only stand based on the law that is applicable.

“Our laws, no matter how unreasonable they may be perceived, do not permit the plaintiff’s suit,” added Justice Abu Bakar
The defence team, led by Tan Sri Cecil Abraham, had argued that Najib is a member of the administration and that Article 160 (2) of the Constitution excludes members of the administration to be in the public service.

Lead counsel for the plaintiffs Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said his clients would file an appeal.

In the lawsuit filed in March last year, the plaintiffs wanted the High Court to order Najib to pay RM2.6bil in exemplary damages to the Government.

Dr Mahathir, former Batu Kawan Umno division deputy head Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and former Langkawi Wanita Umno member Anina Saadudin also wanted Najib to pay RM42mil in aggravated damages.

In an immediate response, Anina said she would support the appeal.- Star, 29/4/2017


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