The decapitation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), with the simultaneous removal of the three top officers of the MACC, was supposed to mark the end-game of a year-long strategy to remove all obstacles to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak on his game-plan over his two global financial scandals which started in July last year – with the sackings of the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Gani Patail, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Senior Cabinet Minister, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mukriz Mahathir, the dissolution of the high-level Special Task Force on 1MDB, the derailment of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) investigations into 1MDB and the arrests, immediate transfer, harassment and intimidation of key officers in the key national enforcement or investigation agencies whether the Police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Bank Negara or the MACC.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) legal suits on July 20 to forfeit over US$1 billion 1MDB-linked assets in the United States has however come as a “wrench in the works”, destroying Najib’s well-orchestrated plan since last year to make his twin mega scandals vanish into thin air in Malaysia on the ground that they are no more issues as they had been resolved.
The decapitation of MACC with the removal of its top three leaders and the appointment of the new MACC chief, Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad from the Attorney-General’s Chambers could not have come at a worse time in terms of securing public confidence, national and international, in the independence, integrity and professionalism of key national institutions and top public servants.
There are at least three reasons why Dzulkifi Ahmad is most inappropriate for the post as the new MACC chief.
Firstly, Dzulkifli is too junior for the post of MACC Chief Commissioner, as he had to be upgraded to Jusa A Superscale in order to be appointed to head the MACC.
Secondly, his appointment is most inappropriate at a time when the country’s is facing international odium and opprobrium as a “kleptocracy” arising from the US DOJ’s biggest kleptocracy suit exceeding US$1 billion of assets involving the Malaysia’s national sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB.
Dzulkifli had played a key role in helping clear Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak over the 1MDB and RM2.6 billion issues, and during the Jan 26 press conference where Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali announced that there were no grounds to file charges against the prime minister, Dzulkifli was seated next to him.
Thirdly, how could Dzulkifli be appropriate for the post of the new MACC chief when he and his erstwhile superior, the Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali, are unable to identify who is “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” cited 36 times in the 136-page DOJ suits although any well-informed reader, in Malaysia or elsewhere in the world, would have no difficulty in concluding who is the person referred to as “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1”.
Malaysians must ask whether a person who does not know who is “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” referred to in the 136-page DOJ document, and not prepared to take the necessary follow-up actions, despite very unmistakable identifications in the DOJ report, , is a fit and proper person to head the country’s anti-corruption agency.
(Speech at the Sri Kembangan DAP SSS LGE Dinner in Serdang, Selangor on Saturday, July 31, 2016 at 9 pm)