Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad’s warning to corrupt politicians is pointless if it does not include “Malaysian Official 1”, according to DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang.
“Was Dzulkifli directing his ‘just you wait’ warning to MO1, and if not, what credibility is there that the MACC will break the jinx of just going after anchovies while sharks continue to go scotfree, unlike the tigers of China and crocodiles in Indonesia are caught, brought to justice and jailed?” he asked in a statement.
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) said a high ranking Malaysian government officer it dubbed “Malaysian Official 1” had received US$731 million which originated from 1MDB.
Cabinet minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan said MO1 is Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, but the fact that he is unnamed meant he is not the subject of the DOJ’s legal action to recover assets worth more than US$1 billion believed to have been bought using funds siphoned from 1MDB.
Najib has consistently denied using public funds for private gains and has been exonerated by the attorney-general.
Yesterday, Dzulkifli during a live television interview said it would only be a matter of time before corrupt politicians face justice.
He also said the MACC is operating on its lowest budget since 2013, and has had its allocation for new equipment frozen for the next three years.
He said this could mean lagging in technology to break the complicated web of grand corruption.
However, Lim said such “belly-aching” is unacceptable given that MACC’s budget of RM250 million in 2016 was six times that allocated to its predecessor the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) in 2000.
Yet, he pointed out, Malaysia’s score on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index in the year 2000 was 48 out of 100 with 100 being perceived least corrupt, just one point behind Malaysia’s score in 2016.
“Is this the six times’ improvement in performance and key performance indexes of the MACC as compared to the ACA in year 2000?” he asked.
Dzulkifli, who took over last August, said MACC cannot shoulder the entire burden of stamping out corruption in Malaysia.
He added that Malaysia would only improve its CPI score if there is also systemic change and a shift in community moral values, on top of enforcement.
Despite budgetary and manpower constraints, Dzulkifli said he would uphold his vow that there would be one anti-corruption arrest or prosecution each week in 2017.
He said the anti-graft body has managed to sustain this record in the month of January.
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