Sunday, 23rd May 2010
Well Done MACC, But Will They Dare To Charge Their Own Boss?
The national anti-graft authority has agreed to investigate claims that the prime minister committed an election offence during the Sibu vote, with his pledge to solve flash floods there if Barisan Nasional retained the Parliamentary seat.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed said today that the body would probe any and all complaints.
“All complaints against money politics will be investigated by MACC. We will investigate as long there is a complaint related to money politics,” he told reporters after attending a forum by Transparency International Malaysia.
The Election Commission (EC) had sidestepped the issue brought up by the DAP’s Lim Kit Siang, saying the MACC was the right body to carry out investigations.
“That is our responsibility. We have to investigate whoever comes in front of us and complains about... money politics or whatever that is related to corruption,” Abu Kassim said.
MACC investigation director Mustafar Ali added that complaints had been lodged against Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s statement.
“Yes, we have received complaints from several quarters during the by-election. So we have started investigating. We will investigate any party. We have two (complaints), one in Hulu Selangor... and [another in] Sibu.
During a last-minute pitch on the eve of the by-election, Najib announced an allocation of RM5 million for flood-mitigation projects in Rejang Park provided the BN candidate was elected.
“If Robert Lau becomes the MP on Sunday, on Monday I will ask [for] the cheque to be prepared. Do we have a deal or not? We do! You want the RM5 million, I want Robert Lau to win,” Najib told the crowd.
Mustafar said that the MACC may consider calling Najib in for investigation.
“Not at the moment, but if need be of course we will call whoever [was relevant] to testify,” he said.
He also stressed that MACC was “colour blind” and would not be biased in its actions.
“Yes, we take actions against both parties and as mentioned always, MACC is colour blind. We are really colour blind so we will take action whenever we receive information.
“After [an] investigation, whether or not there is a case... depends on the Attorney-General’s office,” he said.
During the forum, which also doubled as a book launch, Umno’s legal counsel Datuk Hafarizam Harun defended Najib’s actions and claimed that the prime minister had not broken the law.
The lawyer also said that it was the duty of the government to bring development to the public.
“This promise is nothing but politics of development, that Umno and Barisan Nasional is bringing development to the people. If you look at Section 10 in Election Offences Act, [it] states that bribery only applies to all of us as individuals, but not the government,” he said.
I am in the agreement with Datuk Hafarizam that it is a government responsibility to bring about development to the people but why bring the development during the election. One point to think about is about Najib position. When he made the promised, he gave altimatum to the people by saying that he will sign the check the moment BN candidate declare as winner. Remember he being the Prime Minister has a power to approve the check. If someone has a power and with his power he ask something from someone isn't that considered as abused of power , and can be charged as bribery? We hope the action of MACC to investigate Najib not to be end here alone, people knew that Najib had abused his power....even the whole world knew about it, therefore we dont expect to hear from MACC that Najib has no case to answer...We, the rakyat want him to be prosecuted!...Bukittunggal
He argued the Act only referred to a “natural person,” and therefore, Najib was not guilty as he was speaking on behalf of the government.
“So this is the problem, the law only recognises [individuals] but not the government,” Hafarizam said.
However, PKR’s Selayang MP William Leong disagreed and said that Najib was not campaigning as the prime minister but as the president of Umno.
“Sometimes we forget to differentiate between Umno and [the] government. So when a person stands on the podium and campaigns, he is an individual and should be charged,” he said.
AGI IDUP AGI NGELABAN