19 March 2021
The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) calls for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to be allowed to conduct its investigations without favour or fear, with strengthened independence to prevent the commission from being used in a political capacity.
According to Malaysiakini, Kuala Langat MP Xavier Jeyakumar had resigned from PKR due to growing “extremely frustrated” over the events of the past year, and that he is supporting the PN government to stabilise the country.
However, PKR’s Sungai Buloh MP Sivarasa Rasiah has gone on record saying that Xavier would not have jumped to the PN side, unless there was pressure due to the MACC investigation centering around him, which Sivarasa calls “selective prosecution”.
This investigation by MACC into Xavier has led to the arrest of close associate and Perak PKR deputy chief MA Tinagaran, the seizing of RM1.2 mil in cash, the freezing of RM77 mil in bank accounts, and the impound of several luxury vehicles. The PH presidential council has since accused the PN administration of using enforcement agencies to strong-arm opposition lawmakers into defecting.
The question remains, however, that if there was nothing to investigate, why would Xavier fear repercussions and possible arrest? As it stands, MACC should be left to do its job, but the status of the case is now up in the air following Xavier’s move to PN.
C4 Center calls for the current administration and MACC to answer on the status of Xavier’s case, especially since staying silent on this reinforces speculations that Xavier could now be free from any repercussions from MACC. Urgent answers are needed as to what happens now to the seized RM1.2 mil in cash and the frozen RM77 mil in bank accounts, and if this means the case is now dropped following Xavier’s move.
C4 Center also urges MACC to conduct its investigations without favour or fear, and to further establish its independence to remove any undue influence that may affect investigation results. C4 and MACC have long worked together on much needed reforms to strengthen its independence, and state our disappointment in the lack of political will to uplift this commission to its necessary stature.
C4 Center also urges all MPs who are being targeted to leap frog to stand brave and uphold the interests of their constituencies, and come forward with details and facts of threats or coercion, either of themselves or their party members.
A failure to do so can only be seen as a compromise of the commission itself, and an overall loss of trust in the institutions of Malaysia as impartial bodies. This is especially important in the wake of allegations that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) had also fallen into a cloud of compromise when former Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz may have turned a blind eye to suspicious transactions from 1MDB-linked funds involving her husband’s company.
Governments the world over fear an independent commission, and we ask MACC to stand tall in the face of all the political turmoil, and to do its job with strength and steely determination.
Ultimately, a commission tasked with anti-corruption has to be above reproach itself. Otherwise, any investigations and verdicts would be met with distrust, and viewed as farcical by the people.
Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4 Center)
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