MACC to is­sue ‘re­minders’ once Par­lia­ment dis­solved

New Straits Times - - Front Page - FARRAH NAZ KARIM PUTRAJAYA

THE Malaysian Anti Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion will is­sue an “of­fi­cial re­minder” to po­lit­i­cal par­ties when Par­lia­ment is dis­solved to make way for the 14th Gen­eral Elec­tion.

The re­minder was to get the par­ties to ex­er­cise their op­tion of screen­ing the can­di­dates whom they planned to field.

Those red-flagged by the com­mis­sion but were fielded any­way, would be put un­der the MACC’s mi­cro­scope.

MACC Chief Com­mis­sioner Datuk Dzulk­i­fli Ahmad, in shar­ing his three- and five-year plans with me­dia ed­i­tors, said the aim of get­ting the na­tion to ab­hor cor­rup­tion would be­gin with those seek­ing po­si­tions “to serve the peo­ple”.

“In cases where we have in­tel­li­gence but not enough ev­i­dence to open a case against the po­ten­tial can­di­date, we will ad­vise the party against field­ing him. It should never be just about pop­u­lar­ity. It should be about in­tegrity. If the po­lit­i­cal party chooses to ig­nore our advice, it must know it will then be MACC’s turn (to act). Since I came in, I have not bro­ken my prom­ises. This is also my prom­ise. I am se­ri­ous about this,” he said at the first ses­sion of the newly-es­tab­lished An­tiCor­rup­tion Me­dia Cau­cus.

In the three-hour meet­ing, Dzulk­i­fli shared about the com­mis­sion’s ground­work in the past few months.

He said the prob­lems the coun­try faced, in­clud­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion, weak bor­der con­trol, smug­gling and leak­ages in gov­ern­ment rev­enue col­lec­tion were largely at­trib­uted to cor­rup­tion among en­force­ment agen­cies.

“A huge part of these prob­lems could be re­solved if all those serv­ing in the coun­try’s en­force­ment agen­cies said ‘no’ to graft.”

Pre­sent were his deputies, Datuk Azam Baki (oper­a­tions) and Datuk Sham­sun Ba­harin Mohd Jamil (pre­ven­tion).

Dzulk­i­fli, in il­lus­trat­ing the ex­tent of the prob­lem, cited sev­eral cases MACC had dealt with first­hand. In a joint mis­sion with sev­eral gov­ern­ment of­fices to check on leak­ages in the tax­a­tion sys­tem, MACC found “proof of pay­ment” to avoid ac­tion in one es­tab­lish­ment. The dirty money in­volved RM2 mil­lion.

“In a sim­i­lar raid, in­volv­ing just three groups in one state, it was RM5 mil­lion. This is just the tip of the ice­berg.”

He said three days ago, his men trailed five lor­ries that had moved from a load­ing point in the na­tion’s south.

They trailed the ve­hi­cles, which were fully-loaded with smug­gled cig­a­rettes, un­til they even­tu­ally turned into a jun­gle area for of­fload­ing.

MACC Chief Com­mis­sioner Datuk Dzulk­i­fli Ahmad (sixth from right) with me­dia ed­i­tors in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day.

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