Activists slam MPs’ delay in reporting defection offers

Topic: Political Corruption & Conflict of Interest
Related news: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/04/18/activists-slam-mps-delay-in-reporting-defection-offers/
Coverage by: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Two anti-graft groups say it is “shocking and strange” that two MPs had only recently revealed that they were approached to defect from Pakatan Harapan during the lockdown in 2020.

Transparency International Malaysia president Muhammad Mohan said when a bribe was offered, the politicians should have immediately made a report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

This comes after P Prabakaran of PKR, the MP for Batu, claimed that numerous senior politicians, including the heads of political parties and ministers, had approached him to defect from PH in 2020.

He said in the Dewan Rakyat that some politicians had offered him projects while one said he could “give” him a post in a government-linked company.

Tangga Batu MP Rusnah Aluai also claimed that she was invited to party-hop in 2020, telling the Dewan Rakyat that this occurred through a WhatsApp text message.

However, Rusnah said she did not make a report as the authorities seemed to probe complainants rather than the people making such offers, alluding to a lack of trust in MACC.

Mohan pointed out that, if true, it meant that the two failed to report an offence, adding that it was unfair to assume that MACC would investigate the person reporting and not the person who offered.

“In any case, MACC can only investigate if a report was made. It is not fair to blame  MACC if a report has not even been made,” he told FMT.

Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) executive director Cynthia Gabriel questioned Prabakaran and Rusnah’s silence when the offers were first made.

“While it is true there is a serious trust deficit in our institutions like MACC at this time, there is no reason to keep this quiet till now. That was not very responsible of them, given the country’s political uncertainties. MACC should investigate the claims,” she told FMT.

Gabriel said both politicians should immediately report such transgressions or else there would be a “bad case of trust deficit” in the MPs.

Nurhayati Nordin, head of the Rasuah Busters group, agreed that the claims made by the two MPs should be probed, adding that the pair should have set a better example by reporting the matter to MACC immediately.

“Also, every individual facing the same situation should be bold and honest enough to step forward and be prepared for an investigation to be conducted by MACC,” she told FMT.

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