04 October, 2010

MACC claimed Raja Petra Kamarudin’s accusations are baseless

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has claimed that Raja Petra Kamarudin’s accusations are baseless — that the agency was not prosecuting prominent personalities.

Raja Petra’s Malaysia Today website has started to put out documents to support the allegations, details of complaints and evidence submitted which the MACC apparently had not followed up with prosecutions.

“The accusations made in a blog that said SPRM did not investigate and did not prosecute the suspects based on the investigation reports of three cases is absolutely baseless,” replied the MACC on its official blog, www.ourdifferentview.com today, while not naming Raja Petra directly.

On his Malaysia Today website, Raja Petra has published what he claims are copies of investigation reports against former Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) chief Datuk Seri Zulkifly Mat Noor, National Civics Bureau (BTN) director-general Datuk Shagul Hamid Abdullah, former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo, as well as a preliminary investigation report based on a report where Kulim assemblyman Lim Soo Nee claimed that he was offered a bribe to defect to Barisan Nasional (BN).

The anti-graft body also said that the cases against Zulkifly, Khir, and Lim were old cases, although it did not mention the case against Shagul.

“As a conclusion, all the cases cited are old cases,” said the blog post.

The anti-graft body added that news reports in 2007 had highlighted police investigations against the former ACA chief and pointed out that they could not have taken action against their own head.

“To ensure that investigations were done fairly and transparently, the police were given the responsibility to handle investigations,” said the MACC.

“Besides, the cases mentioned were not graft cases. So, don’t try to connect SPRM with this issue and slam them for purportedly not taking action to investigate and prosecute. It is not fair to hit out at SPRM and connect it to the issue of MACC’s frayed image for silencing action on this case,” it said, referring to the body’s Malay acronym.

The agency also pointed out that the report on the Kulim assemblyman did not contain enough evidence to prosecute the former Kedah mentri besar who allegedly offered Lim a RM5 million bribe to defect to the ruling coalition.

“If the investigation report is properly perused, it is merely a report that was given by the branch office to the headquarters for it to start the investigation process. In this case, the BPR (Badan Pencegah Rasuah) had already started investigations,” said the MACC, referring to the ACA’s Malay acronym.

The beleaguered anti-graft body further lashed out at PKR leaders for hampering their investigations by sparking massive media coverage which eventually affected the outcome of the case.

“The problem was the attitude of PKR’s highest leaders that were too quick to over-react until this case was blown up in the media,” said the MACC.

“It clearly affected the BPR’s investigation process. Investigations were disrupted as there was no longer an element of surprise and the perpetrators who were involved knew the future actions of the authorities. Eventually, the case that was supposed to happen did not happen. So, who should be blamed in this instance?” it asked.

The MACC stressed that they had tried to collect evidence in this case as the purported bribe had not yet occurred, but their efforts were allegedly blocked by over-reactive PKR leaders as mentioned by the former ACA chief, according to a February 2009 news report.

“In this case, the (graft) transaction had not yet happened and the process of collecting evidence was disrupted because of the over-reaction of other parties,” it said.

“Because of that, SPRM tightened laws by introducing section 29(4) of the SPRM Act 2009. It is aimed at preventing complainants from declaring their complaints in public until the investigation process is complete and the guilty party is brought to court,” said the anti-graft agency.

In the third case which involved Dr Khir, the MACC pointed out that they had no basis to prosecute him as statements from witnesses and documents favoured the accused.

“In the case of the former Selangor mentri besar, it clearly shows that both elements – which are statements and proof like documents — were on the side of the accused. So, on what basis can SPRM use to prosecute him?” asked the anti-graft body.

“SPRM has investigated and results showed that he did not commit any wrongdoing in his visit to Disneyland and Morocco,” it added.

The anti-graft body stressed that they had completed their duties in investigating Dr Khir and pointed out that an investigation process was not about pinpointing the blame on someone.

“This case clearly proves that SPRM has done its duty to investigate. The investigation process is not a process to look for someone to blame. Instead, it is a process to look for the truth,” said the anti-graft body.

“SPRM cannot accuse someone based merely on sentiment,” it added.

MACC is still struggling in a losing battle to regain public confidence.

In his campaign, Raja Petra has accused the MACC of being “a component member of the Barisan Nasional” by suggesting that the government agency did not take action against those with ties to the ruling coalition.

Raja Petra is expected to release more documents in the coming weeks.

(From: The Malaysian Insider)

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