SHAH ALAM, 18 Aug 2009: Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said today he is not questioning the powers and freedom accorded to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate, but wants proper methods to be taken in their treatment of witnesses.
He said the overall process of investigation adopted by the anti-graft agency must be reasonable and civilised in such a manner that parties being investigated, especially witnesses, were well protected.
“The MACC’s power of enforcement must not be excessive that they can ignore and jeopardise the rights of individuals protected under the constitution of the country,” Khalid told reporters after attending the Selangor government department’s monthly assembly at the state secretariat building near here.
Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail yesterday said the Selangor government’s circular prohibiting state officials from giving statements to the MACC after office hours was null and void.
He said he would file an application in court within this week to nullify the directive.
Khalid said the Attorney-General had every right to take whatever action he wanted, and the state government would provide its input to improve the mode of investigations employed by the MACC.
He also said the Selangor government was willing to participate in the Royal Commission of Inquiry set up to study the standard operating procedures of the MACC in questioning witnesses.
“We are willing to present papers at the royal commission level and conduct a comparison study on the mode of investigations being employed by anti-corruption agencies in Malaysia, New Zealand, Finland and Hong Kong,” he said.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had on 22 July stated that a Royal Commission of Inquiry would be set up to investigate the interrogation method used by the MACC when they interrogated political aide Teoh Beng Hock.
Teoh, 30, was found dead on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after he gave his statement as a witness to the Selangor MACC on the 14th floor of the building.
The investigation by MACC was into the alleged misuse of state allocations by a number of Selangor state executive councillors and assemblypersons
On the statement made by MACC saying that they could arrest Khalid for stopping them from doing their duties by issuing a circular, Khalid said: “The decision [to issue the circular] was made at the state executive council level. As such, they may have to arrest the whole state government.” — Bernama