Categorised | Letters to the Editor

Ensure transparent eradication of corruption

I REFER to the announcement today by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner Datuk Abu Kassim Mohammed. He said that with immediate effect, the MACC would enforce an existing ruling prohibiting those who lodge reports with the commission to inform the public, including the media, on the matter. This would be so that it would not be “common knowledge” who and what the anti-graft authorities were investigating.

Under Section 29(4) of the MACC Act 2009, a report shall be “kept secret and shall not be disclosed by any person to any person other than officers of the commission and the public prosecutor, until an accused person has been charged in court for an offence under this Act or any other written law in consequence of such report, unless the disclosure is made with the consent of the public prosecutor or an officer of the commission of the rank of commissioner and above.”

It is clear under the law that any person, including the media, is prohibited to disclose the report lodged with the MACC before the accused being charged in court.

I fully understand that there is a need by the MACC to keep certain cases private as the element of secrecy may be crucial in their investigation. However, at the same time, Malaysians have a right to know if there is any report made to the commission, in particular those cases involving government departments and states agencies.

Eradication of corruption in Malaysia should be transparent. Such transparency would also serve as a check and balance on the efficiency of the MACC. If the reputation of the accused person is unjustly affected by the publication of the reported case, then the accused could always file a civil suit in court for damages under defamatory action.

Thus, I would propose that:

the government should consider repealing Section 29(4) of the MACC Act 2009 to promote transparency in eradicating corruption in Malaysia; and

the MACC should not invoke Section 29(4) of the MACC Act.

Tan Keng Liang
Kedah Gerakan Youth Chief

13 Jan 2010

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7 Responses to “Ensure transparent eradication of corruption”

  1. Tan says:

    If MACC is truly independent and efficient, he can even enact one hundred and one rules and regulations, no one will question it. But, the present performance of the MACC is 100% questionable. There are hundreds of cases that had been cleared by MACC but later surfaced as mega scandals after tremendous public pressure. The clearcut case is the PKFZ. Your should just do your work more diligently and less talk if you want the public to [appreciate] your good work. Anything else is mere cheap publicity.

  2. Francis says:

    The MACC chief must thank the news media for exposing the corruption in the country. If not for the news media, a lot of cases will just go unnoticed.

    I agree with Tan Keng Liang that section 29(4) of the MACC act must be repealed. That section is also against freedom of expression.

  3. william says:

    [He is] worse than his ex-boss. MACC will go down to the drain.

  4. Dinesh says:

    It is ironic that a government body that is supposed to uphold justice and transparency is resorting to secrecy laws instead, in order to prevent certain things (well, actually, almost everything) from becoming public knowledge.

    Being a public body that is supposed to serve the interests of the people, coming under public scrutiny is part and parcel of the job. Ordinary people like me are not privy to the investigation files of the MACC, so we depend on the media for information on investigations against corruption.

    By letting the public know about the cases, the MACC has the golden opportunity to enjoin the public to help it fight corruption in the nation. Instead of suing this powerful means, the MACC has alienated even the media, and thereby rejecting the opportunity to get the nation behind them in combating corruption.

    Now that the media cannot report on new cases and ongoing investigations, what can they talk about? Cases that they think are going to happen? I wonder if the sales of crystal balls will shoot up after this.

  5. anak malaysia says:

    Well said, someone has to take MACC to court on this to challenge it.

  6. jackson says:

    MACC thinks they are very smart. Using the law to do more cover-ups and putting a gag on all media. I am suprise to see why Abu Kassim announces this in the news and makes MACC look silly. He should be looking for ways to improve MACC’s public image instead of destroying it.

    I certainly agree with Tan Keng Liang view that Section 29(4) must be repealed. But I doubt Barisan Nasional will agree to it.

  7. Gopal Raj Kumar says:

    What do you (the writer) define as corruption?

    By many definitions corruption is incompetence, inefficiency, the introduction or attempt to introduce an alien system (like a Chinese definition of what’s good and bad, right and wrong into a system and a culture that is predominantly Malay and Islamic).

    Till you can define the meaning of corruption you are but asking people here to believe you have discovered the measure of that proverbial ‘piece of string’.


    Gopal Raj Kumar

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