09 December, 2009

Performance of MACC, Including Setting Policies & Strategies, In Eradicating Corruption Are The Independent Responsibilities Of MACC

I refer to the statement (reported in Bernama 8-12-2009) by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) soon to be chief commissioner Datuk Abu Kassim Mohammed who states that MACC is merely law enforcement agency and not policy makers. As such, he stated that the correct channel for Kedah Gerakan Youth to present any suggestion for improvement in MACC is through the government.

This was in relation to the suggestion earlier on the following:-

1. MACC should automatically investigate any form of corruption or misappropriation of funds highlighted in the Auditor General’s Annual Report. MACC would publish an annual report on the actions taken by MACC on the Auditor General’s Annual Report. To date, a large number of the reported alleged wrongdoers highlighted in the Auditor General’s Annual Report (since the formation of MACC) had not been charged and the government had failed to recover the misappropriated funds.

2. MACC should disclose in an annual report on how many of the reported cases per year that they have received and what are the actions that had been taken. For cases which MACC have decided no action to be taken or action failed to be taken after the lapse of six (6) months after receipt of the public complaints/ reports, MACC must list out the reason for their failure or reluctance to prosecute.

In this regards, I would like to highlight to Datuk Abu Kassim that under the new Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009:-

1. Section 13(2) of the Act provides that the Chief Commissioner of the MACC is automatically appointed in the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (“Advisory Board”) as “ex-officio member”.

2. Section 13(5) of the Act further provides that the Advisory Board shall advise MACC on policies and strategies of the commission in its effort to eradicate corruption.

As such, under the new Act, the role of MACC shall not only be in the form of enforcement agency, but also having a role of setting policies & strategies in MACC through their Advisory Board to eradicate corruption. The existence of the Advisory Board is to provide more independence to MACC in setting policies & strategies and not depending on the government. Otherwise, the principal objective of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 i.e. to create a “more independent” MACC in eradicating corruption is defeated.

Thus, I hope that Datuk Abu Kassim would be able to adhere to the independence of MACC from the government as provided under the Act upon taking over as the MACC’s Chief Commissioner. The performance of MACC, including setting of policies & strategies, in eradicating corruption in Malaysia are the responsibilities of MACC, independent from the government.