Related News: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2023/03/28/didnt-ph-accuse-macc-of-being-a-political-tool-c4-asks-anwar/
Coverage by: Free Malaysia Today (FMT)
PETALING JAYA: An anti-graft NGO has scoffed at Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s statement that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is an independent body, noting that Pakatan Harapan had been critical of the agency in the past.
The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said PH leaders had previously levelled allegations that MACC was being used to force them to support former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
PH leaders at that time were crying political persecution, C4 deputy CEO Sudhagaran Stanley said.
“So how can the prime minister now say that MACC is an independent body when it was his comrades in the past who had accused it of being a political tool?” he asked in a statement.
Earlier today, Anwar told the Dewan Rakyat that he decided to retain Azam Baki as the MACC chief to break the convention that a change of guard in the agency was necessary when a new prime minister was appointed.00:00/02:00
Azam was appointed by Muhyiddin.
Anwar also said he decided against replacing Azam as MACC was an independent body.
But Sudhagaran said Anwar was wrong not to change the commissioner when he came to power, especially when so many unresolved controversies surrounded the commission.
Among the controversies is Azam’s alleged share ownership.
Sudhagaran said Anwar should have immediately put the current commissioner on leave and conducted an in-depth investigation into all the controversies surrounding MACC as well as appoint a new commissioner via a parliamentary process.
“This can be done immediately and is a low-hanging fruit. Then we can look at the long-term reforms such as placing MACC under Parliament, security of tenure for the chief commissioner and other related reforms.”
Sudhagaran said by carrying out the proposed steps, the public could start trusting MACC once again.
“We need to build back this trust. Working on reforming this commission is of utmost importance if we want to accelerate the fight against corruption in this country.”