17 December 2011

Cowgate: Talk straight please, MACC...

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) defended its position on Dec 16 with regards to the National Feedlot Centre scandal on two fronts: through the issue of a statement and at a press conference by MACC chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed after the closing ceremony of a MACC programme at the Anti-Corruption Academy.

In the statement quoted by Bernama, MACC denied that it had not taken any action.

It said that it did scrutinise the complaint from NGOs regarding the abuse of a government loan to purchase luxurious condominiums by National Feedlot Corporation, and found no element of corruption, and hence passed the case to the police.

At the press conference, Abu Kassim said that since the scandal was exposed in the 2010 Auditor-General's report in October, MACC had already started studying it from the corruption point of view.

The issue of whether MACC is or is not probing the case does not arise, since MACC's earlier measure to pass the case to police was only a response specifically directed at the particular complaint of irregularity in using the loan to purchase the condos.

Since it was a case of misuse of public loan, it was forwarded to police for further investigation.

Abu Kassim further said that the public could have misunderstood MACC, not knowing its working procedure.

He stressed that MACC has always practiced the principle of probing graft without fear or favour, regardless of whether the persons involved are cabinet ministers or ordinary citizens.

We take it from this Abu Kassim statement that the earlier "passing the buck to police" move relates to only the condo purchase incident and not to other aspects of the scandal.

Then, can Abu Kassim tells us now whether MACC is investigating the entire NFC debacle?

Why the eerie silence?

And please tell us why MACC has steadfastly kept its eerie silence for the past two months, while the controversy has been raging inside and outside parliament, with numerous press conferences and Internet postings that produced heaps of evidence of corruption, abuse of power, collusion, breach of trust and criminal negligence by ministers and government officials in the award of project and disbursement of loan?

Abu Kassim, never mind about your so-called faithfully practiced principle of investigation "without fear or favour", just tell us plain and simple a) whether you agree or disagree that there are elements that justify MACC to move in, and b) whether you have started probing in earnest.

Since this is such a high-profile scandal that affects vital national interests, and the resolution of which will hinge the credibility of the entire Malaysian government, will Abu Kassim please be honest for once and tell the nation what exactly is the status of MACC's investigations with respect to this NFC fiasco?

And what has MACC done in the past two months towards seeking out the culprits and restoring some semblance of rule of law to this country?

No more hypocritical rhetoric please; just simple, honest answers. - Kim Quek



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