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Monday, December 30, 2013

CONFIRMED! MACC too chicken to go after ROSMAH'S SON despite BLATANT WEALTH

CONFIRMED! MACC too chicken to go after ROSMAH'S SON despite BLATANT WEALTH
I refer to the statement by MACC yesterday that they have no powers to investigate the purchase of RM 110m property by PM Najib's stepson Riza Shahriz.
MACC claimed that the law needs to be amended to allow them to investigate persons who have wealth beyond their income. The MACC's position is legally unsound, misstates the law and is a blatant abdication of their duties as the nation's corruption watchdog.
As usual, the MACC comes up with all kinds of pathetic excuses when it comes to investigating powerful persons connected with the ruling BN party. The MACC gave a similar type of excuse when asked why action was not taken against the fabulously wealthy family of Sarawak CM Taib Mahmud.
In fact, the MACC Act 2009 is a very strong piece of legislation, granting wide powers to the MACC's enforcement division; it is vastly stronger than the old Anti-Corruption Act 1997.
Under section 29(3), the MACC has wide powers of investigation which enables it to inquire into Najib's stepson's case. Section 29(3) also imposes a positive duty upon the MACC to investigate where there is ' information received' of possible corrupt practice.
Section 35 grants the MACC wide powers to look into bank accounts and other documents of persons suspected of corrupt practice.
Shameful comparison with other countries
A comparison with other Commonwealth countries also shows that there is no basis for the MACC's claim that the law needs to be amended.
Singapore, which has a draconian anti-corruption legislation, does not have the type of provision being asked for now by the MACC. Singapore's Prevention of Corruption Act merely makes unexplained wealth a corroborating factor in corruption trials.
Hong Kong's Prevention of Bribery Ordinance makes it an offence, only in very limited categories involving senior government officials, to own 'unexplained wealth'.
The UK's powerful Bribery Act 2010 has no such provision at all.
Neither Singapore or Hong Kong have the kind of provision which Malaysia's MACC insists on having before taking action in cases like Najib's stepson.
Yet, Singapore and Hong Kong are well-known for their success and firmness in stamping out corruption and for their strong corruption legislation.
Under the MACC Act 2009, there are a wide array of powers the MACC can rely on in order to crackdown on cases of those displaying massive unexplained wealth.
Instead of making full use of those laws, the MACC seems fixated on amending an already powerful MACC Act. It is a national shame that the MACC pleads powerlessness, although the whole world can see the fabulous extent of the wealth of friends and relatives of BN leaders at all levels.
We urge the MACC to stop the excuses, and to commence immediate investigations into the case of PM Najib's stepson.
N SURENDRAN IS VICE PRESIDENT OF PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT, MP FOR PADANG SERAI

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