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Sunday, July 31, 2016

The death of the MACC

It has been a hard two days for me; first was seeing the former Number One and Number Two of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) - Abu Kassim Mohamed and Mohd Shukri Abdull - bundled out of the organisation they helped start.
I remember fondly my days with both of them, discussing ways to make the MACC an organisation Malaysians could be proud of.
With the encouragement of former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, we deliberated on the laws and the model we should follow. Abu Kassim was very fond of the Hong Kong model and he told me about the good support and cooperation the Hong Kong authorities had given him.
Abu Kassim was impressed that the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption had many “oversight” committees, but I remember cautioning both of them at a meeting in my house that committees would not be much of a deterrent if we allowed political interference.
At that time we did not expect Pak Lah to “retire” quite so quickly and so we felt “safe” that there would not be any interference from the political side.
I wish both of them well but I hope they will not ride into the sunset.
Continue mission
Some people say they are not happy with the way events have unfolded in the country but they do little other than talk about it in coffeeshops.
Maybe, Abu Kassim and Shukri can do more, such as speak to all Malaysians on a regular basis about how integrity is central to our future as a people and as a nation.
They do not have to join political parties but they must not remain silent. They have a profile and they were chosen by Pak Lah to help the country fight corruption. They must continue that mission.
In this vein I am somewhat disappointed with Pak Lah for keeping quiet. He started the MACC with great enthusiasm, but now just watches its destruction and humiliation, including the maltreatment of senior officers he had handpicked, without saying a word.
To expect the royals “to step in” on this matter might be asking too much but surely former prime ministers should not adopt such an attitude. If we care enough about this country, then we must all stand up.
Powerless against AG
I am also depressed after a long day in court last Friday hearing submissions by the Attorney-General’s Chambers arguing that the power of the attorney-general (AG) to charge or not charge someone was not “justiciable”.
In plain language, the attorney-general can do whatever he wants, and the court has no power to grant relief to anyone who seeks help in wanting to know why the AG made a particular decision.

The AG is a man who does not have to account for his actions, and if the applicant (me) is not happy with the decision of the AG, then he must seek his relief somewhere else. That’s the crux of the submissions which will most probably be accepted by our court.
I understand the message well. It means I have to get help from the people of this country. It means that only a political solution will clean up this country of corruption and abuse of power. Only a political solution will rid this country of eunuchs who obey orders without conscience.
I have to start the campaign process soon and I wish to assure my readers that this is exactly what I will do.

ZAID IBRAHIM was a former minister, in charge of law.- Mkini

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