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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Ex-AG: Probe politicians who live beyond their means

Abu-Talib-Othman© Provided by MToday News Sdn Bhd Abu-Talib-OthmanPETALING JAYA: A former attorney-general has come out in defence of senior civil servants who have been reprimanded by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for going on overseas golfing trips.
Abu Talib Othman said the anti-graft agency must also look into prominent politicians in office whose patronage was used by certain parties in “charity” golf events.
“Who makes decisions on major contracts? Is it the civil servant or politician,” he asked.
He said it was unfair to attack the integrity of civil servants while overlooking the lifestyle of politicians who allegedly lived beyond their means.
Abu Talib said both, the government officials and politicians, were public servants and there should be no discrimination by law enforcment agencies like the MACC.
“The law is the same whether one is a public servant or politician,” he said.
Abu Talib, who served as AG for 13 years until 1993, was responding to MACC Chief Commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad who had said there was no need for high-ranking civil servants to go on golfing trips to Thailand and Indonesia when there were enough golf courses in Malaysia.
Dzulkifli had said civil servants were not professional golfers who needed to play overseas and their actions could lead to corruption and abuse of power.
He had also said the MACC was monitoring the movements and activities of a group of civil servants.
“Even though the civil servants involved have proof that they are paying for their own trips, but the moment they arrive overseas, they are hosted by certain parties,” Dzulkifli had said, adding the “hosts” would also foot the guests’ shopping bills.

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