5 amendments to MACC Bill to strengthen MACC’s independence from Executive and reinforce Parliamentary oversight

If Hong Kong’s Number Two graft fighter is to be believed about what he said with regard to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Bill, Malaysia is on the threshold of greatness – to join the ranks of the world’s 20 or even 10 least corrupt countries!

The local media have been inundated with reports of the short visit of the deputy commissioner and operations head of Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Daniel Li on the invitation of the Anti-Corruption Agency, heaping praises on the MACC Bill which is to be debated in Parliament on Monday.

Praising the government’s commitment in fighting the scourge of corruption, Li said the MACC was equal or better than the ICAC after which it was modelled.

He said he found the MACC Bill to be very comprehensive and very focused.

He said: “The affected area that it covers is wider than what the ICAC is covering in Hong Kong.”

He praised the government for being “faster than us in Hong Kong” in terms of developing strategies to combat corruption, adding:

“This shows that the authorities here are very much up to date with the problem. We in Hong Kong are still doing reviews and consultation but in Malaysia you have already done that by coming out with these recommendations.”

Li even said that there are some good idea in the MACC Bill which he would take back to Hong Kong.
If Li is to be believed, Malaysia is set to overtake Hong Kong in the Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) annual rankings as a least corrupt nation.

Since the start of the TI CPI annual rankings in 1995, Hong Kong had consistently been ranked among the world’s 20 least corrupt nations although the number of countries surveyed had increased more than four times from 41 nations in 1995 to 180 nations in 2008. Hong Kong was ranked No. 17 out of 41 nations in 1995. In 2008, it is ranked No. 12 out of 180 countries.

Malaysia has taken a different trajectory in the TI CPI surveys in the past 14 years, ranked a lowly No. 23 in 1995 but plunging lower to No. 47 in 2008!

If Li is right, then Malaysia is set not only to reverse this decline but also to surpass Hong Kong in international recognition as a least corrupt nation!

How many are there whether in Malaysia or outside who really share Li’s optimism about the MACC Bill and the government’s fight against corruption? I doubt there is even a handful of such people!

The MACC Bill is not the first time that Malaysia had modeled after Hong Kong’s ICAC. When the Anti-Corruption Act 1997 was passed by Parliament, the new anti-corruption law was also said to be patterned after Hong Kong’s ICAC.

What was the outcome of the first Malaysian attempt to emulate the ICAC? Malaysia’s corruption went from bad to worse, with Malaysia’s TI CPI going into a freefall from No. 32 to No. 47 this year!

Will Malaysia’s second attempt to model after Hong Kong’s ICAC suffer the same sad fate as the Anti-Corruption Act 1997 which is to be repealed and replaced by the MACC Bill?

All this means is that Li is an undoubted authority about the IACC and Hong Kong’s fight against corruption but a dubious authority about the MACC Bill and Malaysia’s fight against corruption.

I have yesterday given notice to Parliament to move five amendments to the MACC Bill to give greater safeguards to strengthen the MACC’s independence from the Executive and to reinforce Parliamentary oversight.

  1. #1 by trublumsian on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 2:28 pm

    hola! 1st!

    uncle kit, wasn’t Li wowed by the macc itself and NOT the people who should but would not be executing it as it is stipulated to?
    they interpret things as they see fit.

  2. #2 by Godfather on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 2:44 pm

    In Hong Kong, the ICAC chief can be hauled up by the legislative council, their equivalent of Parliament. Even though he is nominated by the Chief Executive, he is really answerable to the legislative council.

    In Bolehland, the AG and the Chief Justice need to be “proven” in some capacity to UMNO or else they won’t get nominated. It will be the same with the MACC Chief. That’s how UMNO retains its power to corrupt.

    In Hong Kong, the mainstream press operates on true commercial principles and are generally unfettered. South
    China Morning Post is controlled by Robert Kuok’s Kerry Group while the mainsteam Chinese Dailies are finely balanced between pro-China or pro-democracy movements. In Bolehland, the mainstream press is controlled by the ruling coalition.

    Hong Kong has no detention without trial. Bolehland has the famous ISA.

    Someone should also ask Mr Li if Hong Kong police uses C4 on pesky foreigners.

  3. #3 by lee wee tak_ on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 2:59 pm

    the difference is also due to implementation, enforcement and the heart & soul of the office bearers

  4. #4 by blablowbla on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 3:26 pm

    Paklah said:”change the bottle,keep the wine!”

    The Rakyat will makesure that the BN will be completely terminated at a lock,stock and barrel basis on the next GE!

    Paklah,not only the wine need to be changed,the wholesaler,dealer,retailshop as well!

    We are the Consumers,we are the Rakyat,you all are just servants,we will terminate your services if yuo all are so stubborn!

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 4:22 pm

    Well deputy commissioner and operations head of Hong Kong’s ICAC, Daniel Li may be right that the MACC Bill is ‘very comprehensive and very focused’ covering wider area.

    Govt is however wondering why no one is applauding to what Daniel Li opined. No one who is realist is applauding because of profound doubts that the MACC or for that matter legislation by itself will stem systemic corruption when other factors nurturing it are in full play unabated, for examples: factors such as feudal mindset in no small way as pointed out by trublumsian in earlier posting exacerbated divisions by race and ancestral origins, where people are willing to tolerate corrupt leaders in exchange for perceived protection in various forms;or lack of other pillars like a free media culture;or as pointed by Godfather, lack of check and balance in other areas; and also the fact that moneys to fund politics are, in the absence of defined guidelines and parameters, customarily raised from plundering of the national wealth and public coffers under all kinds of guises like Mega Projects and Privatisation ostensibly for public good for objective of winning elections and perpetuating political power…

    Here raises then the classic dilemma – can promulgation of a comprehensive anti corruption law change corrupt human behaviour or the other way around corrupt behaviour will circumvent and triumph over the most stringent anti corruption legislation and requires “other medicine” to counterbalance its tendency towards corruption, with power?

    HK & Singapore are societies under pressure where elites right from the start were determined to stamp out corruption to encourage a favourable investment climate imperative for the economic survival of the societies over which they govern. Here the situation in the beginning was radically different : a mentality of strife and competition under a milieu free from corruption found it hard to take root under swaying coconut trees, where black gold and natural gas ooze from the ground besides yielding other goodies, whether tin, rubber now palm oil and rainforest timber…

    With strong cultural and institutional factors militating against this war on corruption, this essentially implies that to tackle corruption you are very justified, to level the playing field in this contest, to demand in your proposed 5 amendments to MACC Bill further safeguards even if more comprehensive and stringent than the HK’s or S’pore’s version, whilst, at the same time, not forgetting the battle in other fronts to strengthen independence of other ancillary institutional structures such as the Press, the Prosecution Division and the Courts – and perhaps on the manner of implementation of policies like NEP which might be conducive than inimical to a culture of corruption.

    May we know what are the five amendments – and whether the right of MACC to initiate its own investigation and prosecution independent of Public Prosecutor/AG is one of these.

  6. #6 by Godfather on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 4:38 pm

    UMNO is not willing to change. The other BN parties are not willing to change their subservient and mute mindset. There is only one choice for the suffering rakyat – consign them to the Opposition benches.

  7. #7 by wahai kawan on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 4:49 pm

    Our Politics is the finest in the world !

    Majority of our people adopted the “Tidak Apa” attitude with 5 C, chicki ku ckicki !

    Are we ready ? No we are not ! But in our hearts, ohh yah and that’s about it !

    It’s all about selling a good story book! A story that everyone can talk about in offices, coffee shops & cafes…

    Pessimistic as I am, our government will continue to provide us the best seller despite what party they represent ! Why??? Because nobody cares !!! THEY KNOW IT TOO!!! They are not as dump as you think they are!

    So, does anyone care! Most probably the answer is no! But until you are a victim of the system, only then we will raise for the occasion !

    And until that day, all of us will continue to write good essays for each other!

    God bless us all !!!

  8. #8 by mata_kucing on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 4:50 pm

    There’s a great difference between HK and Malaysia. In HK they have men with high principle and a empowered public who will not tolerate corruption. In Malaysia, there’s hidden hands everywhere and those who are corrupt are not haul up to answer charges. In fact, they run the government.

  9. #9 by monsterball on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 6:25 pm

    Who is this HongKongnese?
    Well …he is entitled to his opinions.
    That Nazri is at it again…trying to be too smart.
    From his own mouth….he revealed how sick is UMNO…with their wayang kulit.
    He said…in USA the President chooses the Supreme Council people and the Senators will have final say.
    He said…here..it is PM having final say.
    He cannot differentiate ..a final say…comprising of a group ….comparing to the final say…of one man…the PM in Malaysia.
    How does his brain work or think…cannot see the difference between a group and a single man……making such important decisions for the country. Is he not saying….UMNO has final say……with their usual bullshit….to get rid of corruptions…starting from the ministers and downwards?
    It will always be the small fries…..under UMNO.

  10. #10 by oedipus on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 6:52 pm

    im still waiting for the day when the courts decide, the 2 poor coppers who supposedly murdered Altantuya for no apparent reason.

    btw, the same story with the perwaja steel story, if eric chia was innocent….. who is guilty?

  11. #11 by simon041155 on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 7:45 pm

    Daniel Li is putting his reputation at stake! The government is so good at drafting nice-sounding legislations and policies, but implementing them is a different kettle of fish altogether. If ISA, the worst kind of punishment one can ever get in civil society, can be said to protect a reporter for her own benefit, then manure is the most delicious food in this world.

  12. #12 by dawsheng on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 7:55 pm

    “This shows that the authorities here are very much up to date with the problem. We in Hong Kong are still doing reviews and consultation but in Malaysia you have already done that by coming out with these recommendations.”

    Read between the lines.

  13. #13 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 9:46 pm

    The NST 12 Dec quoted Hong Kong’s Number Two graft fighter Daniel Li as saying “In reading the bill, I can see two things…”First, the determination of the Malaysian government in treating anti-corruption as a priority…Secondly, the government realises the problem and has given independence and authority to MACC to do its job.”

    And the The Sun in its report of 11th Dec quoted Daniel Li as saying “while prosecution powers can never be taken away from the Attorney-General, the fact that the Chief Commissioner of the MACC has prosecution powers is an attempt to ensure that no one agency is vested with sole prosecution powers.”

    I wish to point out that the suggestion that “ MACC has prosecution powers….to ensure that no one agency (like Public Prosecutor/Attorney General Office) being vested with sole prosecution powers” is misleading and untrue.

    The MACC has no independent prosecution powers under the bill or proposed Act (“Act”).

    Section 58 of the Act is clear to state “A prosecution for an offence shall not be instituted except by or with consent of the Public Prosecutor”.

    In any seizure of travel documents and property and dealing with banks and land offices under the Act, the authorisation by Public Prosecutor is necessary.

    Public Prosecutor is the Attorney General Office whose prosecution of “big fish” is, based on record, a matter of skepticism. Could MACC be said to have teeth when it cannot act on its own without Public Prosecutor/AG’s authorisation?

    Also if the government or any of its employee including the Public Prosecutor refuses or fails to take action or prosecute under the Act, they enjoy immunity. Section 72 of the MACC Act says that no action, suit or prosecution shall lie or be instituted against the government or its employees/agents in respect of any act done or omitted to be done in intended pursuance or execution of the Act for so long as it is done in “good faith”.

    Now what is “good faith”?

    When faced with evidence of corruption, all one has to do to desist from prosecuting and yet enjoy immunity is to say, well in my opinion, evidence is not enough to secure court conviction, so lets not waste time and public funds to prosecute it – well that’s also “good faith” ! :)

  14. #14 by Onlooker Politics on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 9:54 pm

    Uncle Kit is certainly wise enough to warn us not to hold the premature optimistic view about the MACC Bill until we have seen the positive result of the enforcement in good faith by the Malaysian Government in regard of any anti-corruption act, either in the form of existing act or in the form of the bill to be enacted.

    With the institution of the complicated bureaucratic structure in the MACC Bill and the ultimate veto power of the Prime Minister, I have yet to see the sincerity of Pak Lah in the table of such a boostful bill in the Parliament.

    Hong Kong’s political reality is quite different from that of Malaysia. In Malaysia the incumbent political leader will always have to carry the political burden of the New Economic Policy (NEP). As a result of this political burden, all kinds of seemed-to-be-workable methods of transparency that are to be implemented by the government will eventually be defeated and flushed down to the drain in the name of the so-called lawful discrimination permissible by the Affirmative Action for the noble purpose of helping the Bumiputeras to strengthen their economic position in order to eradicate the identification of poverty or economic disparity by races in Malaysia. The commonly adopted transparency method such as open tender, whereby all public will be invited (through the public notice to be advertised in the major local newspapers) to offer the best bid for the award of government project contract, will never find way for adoption by the government servants in the lack of the strong political will from the incumbent leader in order to set out a policy guideline of the transparency methods for all government servants to meticulously observe and to stringently comply.

    With the ultimate enactment of MACC Bill and the later implementation of the MACC Act, the incumbent ruling party may find the legal way to provide the political legitimacy for the award of Government project contracts to the crony private companies in relation to the incumbent leader. The reason is simple: the government servants will no longer be required to observe the transparency requirements of giving out a contract award to any contractor, simply because the government does not set out such a requirement for the government servants to follow. Every government contract may be granted easily to a crony in the name of the lawful discrimination permissible by the Affirmative Action under the NEP. This is almost similar to giving legalisation to robbing in the daylight.

    If there is any complaint about corruption in relation to the award of government contract to a crony private individual or company, such a complaint will be easily told off because there will be no hard evidence to prove that the award of a government contract in such an unseeming manner is illegal or non-compliance to the government policy guideline so long as such an unseeming manner is permitted in accordance with the government policy guideline. There is good reason for us to believe that the cronism and nepotism will continue to prevail in the Malaysian Political Structure, in view of the BN Government’s lack of the political will to abandon the Discrimination Policy in the name of Affirmative Action in favour of the Bumiputeras. In other words, Lawful Discrimination Policy in the name of the NEP Affirmative Action Programme will provide further political legitimacy for granting a government contract award to a crony or a family member of the incumbent leader, and thereby corruption practice shall eventually be legalised in the disguise of Affirmative Action Programme in relation to Bumiputeraism.

    There is no reason for me to trust that a true reform will be duly coming from the incumbent BN Government. I would rather take true reform as a sweet dream at the present moment and choose to put trust in Pakatan Rakyat to bring forth a true reform to all Malaysians in the near future. And I slowly see hope for the reform that is to be carried out prudently in the states which are being administered by Pakatan Rakyat. I even put more hope for a massive reform that is quite likely to come true in the state of Sarawak after the next state general election in Sawarak. I hold such a hope simply because I believe that Pakatan Rakyat is bound to win a majority in the State Assembly of Sarawak during the next state general election. Sarawak State Government will provide a much better platform for Pakatan Rakyat to perform since the Sarawak State Government enjoys a large extent of autonomous administrative power that is clearly stated in the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

    So, all folks from Pakatan Rakyat, please work hard from now on in order to ensure a cheerful triumph in Sarawak in the near future. Only a two-thirds majority win by Pakatan Rakyat in the Parliament and in the State Assemblies is able to provide assurance to a true political reform and a true economic reform for Malaysia in the very near future.

  15. #15 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 10:20 pm

    When it comes to investigating corruption, the MAC Act is very draconian for eg:

    · It reverses time honoured prsumption of innocence until guilt proven beyond reasonable doubt ;

    · It waives banking secrecy – they can probe your accounts in any bank;

    · It makes an exception of privileged information, your accountants and lawyers cannot claim professional privilege but have to divulge your financial and property/business affairs;

    · It authorises wire and email tapping in violation of privacy;

    · It encourages entrapment by agent provocateurs, ie agents purposely tempting you with bribes to arrest you, these agents being themselves immune from bribing but their evidence against you is admissible in court.

    Net net it is Ok for us to sacrifice all these curtailment of liberties provided it is for a good cause ie. the MACC having teeth to curb corruption but the situation is not like that here when the MACC is arguably not independent since discretion to prosecute or not to still vest with Public Prosecutor.

    This means we are giving up principles protective of privacy and liberty and getting nothing by way of trade off, in return! (Same old situation as before where Public Prosecutor’s discretion to prosecute or not is paramount!).

    In fact these draconian features make the wielders of power within the power structure even more powerful.

    They can, for example, by selective prosecution, threaten or put their political opponents away by the MACC and yet protect political friends and backers, claiming immunity under the “good faith” section 78!

    In this sense, the MACC Act buttresses the wielders of power within the ruling party/coalition rather than subjecting their powers to restraint.

  16. #16 by delon85 on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 10:51 pm

    If they havent realised it, what we need is an anti-corruption bill that is suited for Malaysian situation, not being modeled after another country’s system where the workings of corruption is different than the ones in Malaysia. However, if there are good points to IACC to be implemented effectively in MACC, why not?

  17. #17 by cemerlang on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 11:11 pm

    One of the problems which Malaysia faces is everything is well said, professionally documented but when it comes to implementation, nobody wants to do it. It is one thing having a document signed but it is another enforcing what is written in the document. ACA cannot do much as long as its’ top guns would not allow it to do so.

  18. #18 by undergrad2 on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 11:24 pm

    You guys got the job description of our AG completely wrong! Our AG is not working for the people. He is not the AG of or for the people like in other countries. He is not elected into office. He is AG for the Prime Minister and his band of merry men led by Friar Tuck.

  19. #19 by undergrad2 on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 11:28 pm

    The Transparency International’s corruption index shows that the AG is doing superbly well – hardly any case to prosecute.

  20. #20 by Godfather on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 11:42 pm

    Jeffrey QC has hit the nail on the head. The draconian powers of the Commission are a double-edged sword to be used by the corrupt to target their enemies and shield their friends.

    So long as this country practises selective prosecution, then the draconian powers can only mean one thing – to intimidate and silence the Opposition. Add to it the DNA Bill, and we could have a blockbuster erosion of our basic rights and privacy.

  21. #21 by Godfather on Saturday, 13 December 2008 - 11:43 pm


    It isn’t that the AG has hardly had any case to prosecute. Anyone with the success rate that our AG has so far would be “shy” to prosecute.

  22. #22 by simon041155 on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 12:02 am

    Dawsheng says: “This shows that the authorities here are very much up to date with the problem. We in Hong Kong are still doing reviews and consultation but in Malaysia you have already done that by coming out with these recommendations.” Read between the lines.

    What is there between the lines except blank space?

    Sometimes people wear many hats. I wonder what hat Daniel was wearing when he came to Malaysia. A multimillion-ringgit marketing spokesman for MACC?

  23. #23 by wanderer on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 12:50 am

    Daniel Li was just being polite, practicing Chinese diplomacy… trying not to offend the UMNO egoists. A layman will see the reform bills are just crap!

  24. #24 by Jong on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 12:52 am

    I sure have my doubts about this Daniel Li. I’m more interested in how many layers of pockets he has on his suit!

  25. #25 by Loh on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 1:01 am

    Daniel Li, deputy chief of ICAC Hong Kong considers the MACC bill good enough based on his understanding of the type of people who, like in Hong Kong, would be put in charge and have their role defined by the bill. He wouldn’t know that the prime minister, the equivalent of the chief executive in Hong Kong who serves the interest of the territory, and he does not have to bow to the wishes of the warlords like the PM in Malaysia now does, to the warlords in the party to keep his position. We cannot question Daniel Li’s judgement; but this shows the evil of the Malaysian society. We have a political party that operates like gang. The gangs care not for natural justice and keeping good social characteristics, else they would not be involved in criminal acts. Gangs would be prosecuted their crimes because they have no control of the government apparatus but political parties use government apparatus for their own interest.

    We have on ex-premier who said that he would migrate if Anwar comes into power. It shows that politicians only take the country like a company to make their money. They will not stick to the land, when it suits them, they will just migrate. Until then each works for the maximum profits they can lay their hands. The way to solve the country problems is to dismantle political parties where officials are elected through a pyramid-like system. The middle-level grassroots can decide how to control the top leaderships, though it would still be possible for the top to use money as leverage and control as dictator some five years back. The country was the loser in either case.

    UMNO will not reform because the people in power are not dedicated to the future of the country. A next political tsunami should wipe it out.

  26. #26 by One4All4One on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 1:06 am

    The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating.

    We can debate, argue, hypothesise, deliberate, analyse, opine, suggest, compare, illustrate, criticise, condemn, disagree, whatever…

    We can choose to be cynical, pessimistic, confrontational, deluded, frustrated, whatever…

    When the final version of the Bills are dished out, then only can we know the realities.

    What and who could influence the direction and form of the Bills?

    The ultimate functions and effects of the Bills should be the reference points for whatever clauses the Bills contain. And these would be the proofs of the pudding.

    Malaysia would move backwards if the Bills do not justify their tabling.

    In that event ALL right thinking Malaysians of sound mind should stand up to exert their rights and make their voices heard.

    We have the right to fair and and sensible Bills. Anything that falls short of the rakyat’s expectations is unacceptable and must be rejected and rectified.

  27. #27 by Jong on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 2:24 am

    “We have a political party that operates like gang.”
    – Loh (14 Dec 2008 01:01.44)

    You may be right. The UMNO warlords are like the mafias, give the country the best laws and they will abuse it to their advantage; what more when they have the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature all nicely wrapped up under their control. Any party that dares to disagree with them will not be tolerated and there is always the ISA – Internal Security Act as their lethal political weapon on standby.

  28. #28 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 8:10 am

    Since it is human nature to leverage power for an unfair gain over others, corruption would be universal, the scale of which varies from society to society depending on whether there is collective will of the society exerting pressure on those whom they elect, to summon the political will to fight it.

    Singapore and Hong Kong are different societies being, firstly, comparatively homogenous and secondly are societies without natural resources and being under pressure to rely solely on a favourable investment and business climate – in relation which corruption is antithetical – for survival.

    Conditions are radically different here.

    When one tries to look for a bedrock of community of interest within our society to forge a common stand and unified public support against this social malaise, we are immediately confronted by a society fragmented and divided along racial, religious and cultural lines on which those in power could exploit (as is natural for them to do so).

    For example, we have the NEP. No matter how laudable its twin objectives, its implementation has been carried out by way of a myriad of licenses and public contracts being dished based on ethnic preferential treatment defended on the premise of the Social Contract.

    Inevitably such a manner of implementation implicates wide discretionary powers vested in both political and bureaucratic authorities, the exercise of which is conducted along reciprocal bargain of loyalty, even blind loyalty in exchange for protection and benefits.

    In such a manner, corruption finds it that much easier to permeate and infuse the entire political system – and all its supporting enforcement, investigative and judicial structures – under pretext of socially and political sanctioned affirmative socio-economic re-engineering programs defended under the auspices of the Social Contract.

    So, in time, the communal based political parties and their players breathe and sustain themselves on this extensive system of patronage, giving rise to nepotism and cronyism, no less exacerbated by unclear rules of how to raise campaign funds for winning elections, thereby justifying corrupt practices to raise political funds raised from and financed by the nation’s abundant natural resources.(Detailed insight into the system of Malaysian political patronage was brought into open by Appellate Court Justice Gopal Sri Ram in the case involving Metro Juara).

    These conditions are not similar in Hong Kong or Singapore.

    Political elites here have more opportunities and excuses and less political will than their Hong Kong and Singapore counterparts to wage the war ag ainst corruption top down. Inevitably the prosecution and punishment of the corrupt becomes selective depending whether the target is politically loyal or disloyal, useful or useless.

    It would be fair to say that no amount of anti corruption legislation – no matter how draconian like the MACC – can be effective when its enforcement against corruption is dependent on the political will of those who stand to benefit most from it and escape its consequences.

    HK Anti Corruption buster Daniel Li may be excused in his optimism when he read the MACC bill and found it as comprehensive if not more comprehensive that that which underpins the successful HK’s Independent Commission Against Corruption.

    He is comparing legislations – something readily exploited by Mainstream Media – and not societies and their perculiar dynamics bearing on the equation in a major way. He should understand Malaysians’ skepticism at his optimistic and upbeat remarks.

    For our society, little much could be done to ameliorate corruption if the political will to address the abuses of implementation under the NEP is wanting.

    And any anti corruption legislation must – in the interest of levelling the playing field against the overwhelming forces conducing towards corruption here – be at least 10 times more stringent than Hong Kong to stand even the remotest of chance to address this virus, which like HIV virus has latched unto all vital organs of the body politic broadening out into a way of life here.

  29. #29 by Godfather on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 8:17 am

    10 times more stringent, Jeffrey ? With the selective prosecution that the thieves use, won’t that automatically lead to selective persecution ?

  30. #30 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 8:57 am

    Actually the comment by Daniel Li is fair and hugely diplomatically correct. If you look at the bill, the right people (including a non-interfering PM) can do more under the bill than ICAC in HK. BUT the problem is the bill don’t fix the main problem that Mr. Li does not mention, the wrong people including not the highest standard PM (which is not anywhere near in sight) makes it a mockery…

    Daniel Li could not possible say that could he???

  31. #31 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 9:41 am

    If the bill “can do more than ICAC” as what Big Joe says, whicvh I don’t disagree, and the problem/fault lies in the people implementing it, then does it mean that the bill is OK and should, by its own merits, be supported by us?

    It is not necessarily so. We should fix the bill in the manner that divests the people doubted from their wide discretionary powers that may likely be abused for selective prosecution.

    So we should build into the Bill provisions on (1) giving MACC’s commissioner powers of prosecution independent of the Public Prosecutor and give (2) MACC’s commissioner security of tenure.

    These provisions exceed even those that HK’s ICAC does, and in that sense our bill should be 10 times more stringent.

    It is not giving people doubted 10 times more stringent draconian powers in the bill so that they can indulge in more selective discretion in prosecution – it is making the bill 10 times more stringent than ICAC in terms of building ion checks and balances, taking way or restraining discretionary powers of the Executive an d people doubted that might interfere with work of the MACC and its commissioner.


  32. #32 by Godfather on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 10:48 am

    Can someone email the following article to Mr Daniel Li and ask him for his comment:


    Since corruption in Bolehland is so institutionalized at the behest of non other than the executive, how can anti-corruption legislation that vest power in the executive work ?

  33. #33 by k1980 on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 10:55 am

    The Economist Intelligence Unit expects real GDP in 2009 to grow by just 1.5 per cent in 2009, reflecting Malaysia’s exposure to the global economic slowdown. Now is the right time to send BN into the dustbin of oblivion, starting with Kuala Trengganu

  34. #34 by katdog on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 11:30 am

    “It encourages entrapment by agent provocateurs, ie agents purposely tempting you with bribes to arrest you, these agents being themselves immune from bribing but their evidence against you is admissible in court.”

    And this is something we have to be wary off. Entrapment is a highly debatable method. In certain countries, a person caught in entrapment cannot be charged in court due to a serious question: if a person is set up (even by officers of the law), should it be permissible in courts?

    Anyone still remember the attempts of the ACA to entrap councilors in Perak? Who authorized and approved such activity? Can officers take matters in to their own hands and set up suspects as they like? What are the boundaries of permissible acts versus ‘planting of evidence’?

    I personally believe that prosecution powers should still lie with the courts. But like in Australia, the ACA or MACC or whatever you call it, should be accountable to parliament and the public. ACA reports and findings should be reported to parliament if requested and not just the PM. And just like in Australia, the report should also be open to public for scrutiny.

  35. #35 by vsp on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 12:02 pm

    In Malaysia we have all types of laws been drafted in order to meet every conceivable contingencies. In fact our law books are also chock-full of obsolete statutes lying dormant until they can be dragged out of its musty environment and be useful to the powers-that-be who want to harass their political enemies.

    The problem with the authorities in Bolehland is that the laws are not being implemented according to their intended purposes, without fear or favour and being status-blind.

    Very often many laws are not applicable to those who wield power but are used to protect their own lawlessness, and relentlessly and selectively to stifle the voice of those who are threats to their powers.

    Worse still, laws in Bolehland do not operate transparently, i.e. if any person is to break the law, whether he is a high-and-mighty personality or a common man, the law should in its natural and indiscriminate operation be used against him, regardless. But it is not so in Bolehland because criminals, murderers and traitors associating with the ruling parties, very often escape from the clutches of the law. This is so because the decision to prosecute lies with the Attorney General and he has the option of whether to act or not, and no one can question this discretion. Unfortunately, the present AG is a very political animal who shamelessly serves his political masters and has not even a modicum or sense of natural justice to act on matters of principles.

    Herein lies the mother of all dysfunctionalities in our law enforcement institutions: the Attorney General is being given wide powers to decide and he can behave like a god. Even if it can be proven that the AG is malicious in the application of the law, he cannot be prosecuted by the normal channel of the law. Only his political master can remove him.

    Until and unless there is a law in the Constitution to prevent the misuse of or abolish this discretionary power by the AG, all the laws in Bolehland can be reduced into political monkeys.

  36. #36 by limkamput on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 12:35 pm

    Precisely, Jong, we have a group of nincompoops here who have nothing much better to say other than wasting valuable time debating the vomits of Daniel Li. What can we honestly expect him to say? He has not an iota of interest in Malaysia, other than not creating any ill will among our leaders. Grow up lah.

  37. #37 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 12:48 pm

    “Even if it can be proven that the AG is malicious in the application of the law, he cannot be prosecuted …” Jeffrey

    He is liable for damages in any civil suit filed by the victims if abuse of prosecutorial powers could be proven.

  38. #38 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 12:50 pm

    He could lose his license to practise law and jailed for contempt of court.

  39. #39 by Jong on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 1:39 pm

    “What can we honestly expect him(Daniel Li) to say?” – limkamput

    Daniel should say nothing, they won’t say he’s dumb!

    “He could lose his licence to practise law and jailed for contempt of court” – undergrad2

    You think he cares when he has enough of reserves to last him a comfortable lifestyle the next 50 years if he is lucky to live that long? And what ‘contempt of court’ when they can’t even shake that ex-dictatior that Mamakfler who defied them with his selective amnesia? Know why? He threatened to drag all those bastards down with him if they dare take action against him!

    The solution: Just bulldoze this lot of mafia-like politicians and send them a strong message …ENOUGH!

    Huge amount of money has already been channeled eastward. So to all K.Trengannuites, take the money then drive bunch of UMNO/BN asshats out. Reject them, go for change! Give Najib Tun Razak good reasons to perform “hara-kiri” if he has any pride left!

  40. #40 by Jong on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 1:42 pm

    “What can we honestly expect him(Daniel Li) to say?” – limkamput

    Daniel should say nothing, they won’t say he’s dumb!

    “He could lose his licence to practise law and jailed for contempt of court” – undergrad2

    You think he cares when he has enough of reserves to last him a comfortable lifestyle the next 50 years if he is lucky to live that long? And what ‘contempt of court’ when they can’t even shake that ex-dictatior that Mamakfler who defied them with his selective amnesia? Know why? He threatened to drag all those b*st*rds down with him if they dare take action against him!

    The solution: Just bulldoze this lot of mafia-like politicians and send them a strong message …ENOUGH!

    Huge amount of money has already been channeled eastwards. So to all K.Trengannuites, take the money then drive out that bunch of UMNO/BN assh*ts. Reject them, go for change! Give Najib Tun Razak good reasons to perform “hara-kiri” if he has any pride left!

  41. #41 by juno on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 2:02 pm

    Nothing seems to help in reinforcing Parliamentary oversight. The rules of the game with respect to the world’s financial disaster is making the rule of the thumb for the ones who have lost and are loosing millions by the day. They are just window dressing with what they believe will divert our sights. They are bleeding beyond , and in the positions they are , they find it hard to be honest in their reforms– a look at what they breed-http://sjsandteam.wordpress.com/ frightening!
    In the process they breed the little Napoleons to take us further out of our judgments for a better Malaysia! Terrorists in our midst for their self interests.This is all that they have for us ..

  42. #42 by Ramesh Laxman on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 3:02 pm

    Dear YB Lim,

    The opposition has been sleep on the job for far too long. The present number should be able to place checks and balances on the ruling party.While the man on the street lives on less and less money those at the top are living in luxury and telling us about the good of democracy. And all this mind you is being done at the expense of those of us who are at the bottom of the social ladder.

    In the meantime, the manner in which the state is governed is puting the fear factor on us. I am not referring to the foreign investors who still keep coming to Malaysia according to government statics, but the average person in Malaysia. Too many of us know of some one who has lost a job or is working two or three jobs to keep his family intact. Too many of us worry about whatever money we have in our banks. Too many of us have difficulty in trusting our leaders in both the public and private sector. Too many of us have mastered the art of saying onething and doing the other. Too many of us feel that the Malaysian way of life that we all love so much is being tossed away in favour of people with extreme views and lobbyist who have more money and clout than we do.

  43. #43 by One4All4One on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 3:22 pm

    While bureaucratic check and balance ( like the Bills ) are necessary evils, they cannot be totally effective in their intended purposes.

    No system is 100% fool proof.

    However, if those entrusted to perform enforcement, if proven to be incorruptible, together with good systems of administration and governance, would be deterrent enough to discourage acts of corruption and abuse.

    It all boils down to political, administrative and governance wills, together with a high degree of integrity amongst the rakyat, which would see to the end of corrupt practice and culture being propagated and perpetuated in our society.

    It has to be hammered into the consciousness of each and everyone of us to resist, desist, abhor, reject, and condemn acts of corruption and abuse so much so that any sign of it would be sensed and nipped in the bud.

    Such should be the treatment and abhorrence of corrupt practices that they do not have any chances to breed and surface at all levels of society. Since its very occurrence is condemned, there simply is no chances for its survival.

    In the final analysis, the government can only do so much, it is up to us to make it a reality and a feature of our society.

    Let’s show the better of ourselves, and hope the rest would follow suit. It may seem idealistic, but there is no better or more effective way that a corruption free society could be achieved or realised.

    A government does not exist in a vacuum, neither is society an island. It takes all parties and stakeholders to be involved. One hand does not clap.

  44. #44 by max2811 on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 3:31 pm

    Mr Lim, why is the Perak gov buying Camrys as official cars? Is it that necessary to buy expensive cars to suit the positions of the Excos?

    It is just a means of transportation. As long as a car can get you to your destinations, I don’t see any need in Camrys. Not with the people’s money.

    I cannot accept high maintenance as a good reason. PR is no different than BN.

  45. #45 by Godfather on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 3:59 pm


    Grow up, kid. Just because Selangor exco bought 14 Camrys instead of 14 Perdanas, you label PR as no different from BN. Did anyone in Selangor PR steal ? Would it not be better to get rid of the car maintenance patronage system that was put in place by Khir Toyo ?

    Lastly, do you need a lesson in economics ?

  46. #46 by Taxidriver on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 4:08 pm

    When former US vp Al Gore visited bolehland, he praised malaysians for their courage to fight for freedom and their future. This incurred the wrath of MM who nicknamed him Al Goreng. Now this Daniel Li from HK who, like Al Gore, gets good food and good lodging courtesy of the Malaysian govt, but unlike Al Gore, is smarter. He tickles their ears; say only the good things they want to hear. Once he goes back to HK, he will laugh and roll at the stupidity and incompetence of bolehland govt. Malaysians have become the laughing stock of the world. Malaysians of all creed, race and religion must salvage our pride. BOOT this govt OUT next general election. History has shown that CORRUPT leaders ruined great nations, resulting in sufferings to their peoples. And history repeats itself!!! So don’t wait till it’s too late because by then, our children and grandchildren will have to go to other countries to work as labourers and house maids. Our super rich corrupt leaders will cough out a bit of their stolen wealth to help you??? From now until the 13th GE, mention any name of known corrupt leaders……phui!…phui!…..phui! , lest we get distracted by their propagandas. Long live MALAYSIA; long live MALAYSIANS. Our future is in our hands.

  47. #47 by dawsheng on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 4:48 pm

    “Sometimes people wear many hats. I wonder what hat Daniel was wearing when he came to Malaysia. A multimillion-ringgit marketing spokesman for MACC?” -simon041155

    You know you can never trust them all. Daniel Li came to Malaysia and he met all the liars, of coz he’ll BS too. MACC may be a good bill but MACC under the BN government is totally a meaningless bill.

  48. #48 by k1980 on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 4:54 pm

    With the Malaysian economy expected to slow; unemployment set to hit a historic high and gloom the order of the day, the government is considering launching a year-long campaign called Malaysia Perkasa or Mighty Malaysia in 2009 to perk up the national spirit and patriotism.

    When Malaysia Boleh turned out to be Tak Boleh, now we have Malaysia Perkasa which is trying to bluff us into believing in a Mighty Malaysia. A more appropriate name ought to be (choose one):
    A. Malaysia Tanpa umno
    B. Malaysia Pok Kai
    C. Malaysia Ketuanan Melayu (Bukan Melayu adalah Hamba)
    D. Malaysia Tak Perkasa

  49. #49 by One4All4One on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 4:55 pm

    Sorry to digress a little.

    Excerpt from The Sunday Star 14 Dec 2008:


    PUTRAJAYA: The present format of vernacular school makes racial unity hard to achieve, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

    Sharing the views of his son, Umno Youth chief aspirant Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, the former prime minister said: “Basically, what he (Mukhriz) said is true and this is not an effort to eradicate the culture and customs of other races. His suggestion for an integrated national-based school system is conducive to achieving national unity.”

    Dr Mahathir said a leader should also be sensitive towards the needs and demands of the majority in the community he represented because any failure to do so would result in his dismissal. -unquote –

    What about the sensitivities and needs of the minorities, Dr M?

    The needs and demands of the minority cannot be treated secondarily and be condemned to second or third class treatment.

    The majority cannot have the cake and eat it all by themselves.

    In Malaysia, the reality is that the needs of the majority is fed
    more by and through the efforts and and sacrifices of the minorities. How could that majority demand more than what they themselves had contributed? To quote what Dr M used to say : One must be grateful to the hands that give. Well, Dr, the minorities in Malaysia deserve more than what they bargained or did not bargain for.They have been given a raw deal indeed.

    On the subject of racial unity, fairer and more equitable government policies would naturally make the minority appreciate the impartiality and return with kinder feelings and thoughts. How could a repressed and suppressed lot be expected to harbouring thoughts which are peaceful and unthreatened?

    That unsettling thoughts at the back of every minority’s mind make them respond with self-preserving reflexes, coming from their survival instincts. That policies are perceived as not being friendly and biased contribute to their stance, which in return are being perceived as being hostile on the other divide. It is a vicious cycle which Malaysia can do without. I hope your good office can see this point and reciprocate with advisories which advise the government to install fairer and friendlier policies.

    Unity would come naturally, if all are at peace with one another. Vernacular schools do contribute to that peace. Forced and imposed choices do not.

    If government schools are run in such a way that it is not perceived as being pandering to any segment of society and providing choices needed by all would make them more desirable and perhaps being chosen and preferred by more Malaysians.

    If everybody, that includes children of ministers, the elites and the rich and famous, go to all such Malaysian national school, then perhaps something is right about the schools. If even those elites refused and shun from sending their children to national schools, what and how do you expect the others to respond? What would be the impression of the national schools?

    There are more questions than answers with regard to the standard and quality of national schools that leave much to be desired. Unless and until something right is done to improve the overall status, including better trained, qualified and impartial teachers, an exodus of non-malay children from vernacular schools and an influx into national schools would not happen at all.

    If the house is not ready, the inhabitants would not come in. Unless they are forced to; and that would be the last thing to do. In the absence of a better choice, a next better and safer choice would be chosen.

  50. #50 by trublumsian on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 5:05 pm

    did u hear about the macc’s 2nd in command’s official visit to zimbabwe? the dilomat gave a 2 thumbs up on yet another anti corruption bill just penned by mugabe, sparking a glorious frenzy of pride among mugabeans.

  51. #51 by waterfrontcoolie on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 7:14 pm

    Max 2811, yes, like what Godfather said, please GROW up! Do give some respect to the YBs. Just like Lau-Lee said , yes our Ministers are paid one over million per year, that is all they get notwithstanding that some used to earn 3 times that amount when they were in the private sector. Any dipping into the coffer will have thier hand cut just like in Saudi Arabia. Here thay are paid ‘peanuts, but have millions in assets! thatis the difference.
    As for PR Gomen, though I think they are rather slow in their policy matters, but do give them time as we all know some still have their previous ‘thoughts’ lingering at the back of their minds.
    They have more than just a front to implement their poilicy but alsonasnState gomen, their actions are limited to only certain sectors. Do not expect changes to come too soon, all the Bills have no meaning if the implementers continue their current objectives. Without sincerity and honesty at the top, no amount of writing can change this Bolehland.

  52. #52 by limkamput on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 7:16 pm

    May be PR should protest to Hong Kong SAR that this Daniel Li was talking garbage while abroad. May be the Hong Kong SAR should reassess his competence and credibility as a corruption fighter in Hong Kong. Too often all these scumbags from abroad would come here to say all the nonsense. Should we make Li pay? I think PR should take the lead so that in future other scumbags will not come here to do the same.

  53. #53 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 10:42 pm

    “? He threatened to drag all those b*st*rds down with him if they dare take action against him.” Jong

    You go girl!!

    We have come up against a conspiracy of thieves which is hard if not impossible to unravel through due process of government and law. The whole herd of water buffaloes is so tainted with mud and none is clean enough to lead.

  54. #54 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 10:46 pm

    “It is just a means of transportation. As long as a car can get you to your destinations, I don’t see any need in Camrys. Not with the people’s money” max2811

    Yep. They shouid be asked to buy their own bicycles.

  55. #55 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 14 December 2008 - 10:52 pm

    Isn’t this Li guy in Malaysia at the invitation of the Malaysian government?? Does that not tell you anything?

  56. #56 by daryl on Monday, 15 December 2008 - 12:51 am

    Is not like the Law or the Constituition is not good enough. However, it is the people or BN in power is that we cannot trust. Just like ISA it is suppose to handle dangerous terrorist not people like Teresa, RPK, journalists, opposition politicians or innocent rakyat. Also, the use of PDRM illegally to opress others to stay in power.

    So, Mr. Li you can tell us how good the written law or plan is but in the power behind the implementation of the law is corrupt. Well you will get a bias and being use to opress rakyat that oppose them.

    PR need to come into power now and prove what they can show to rakyat why they are better. KT rakyat please send another round of message to BN that we are tired of their BS…

  57. #57 by ringthetill on Monday, 15 December 2008 - 1:25 am

    Please do it right from the start. To be effective, these organisations should be answerable to parliament, through Select Committees with representation that reflects the composition of parliament.

    Mr PM, you can do it and this is your opportunity to leave a lasting legacy that will bring benefits to the future of the country.

  58. #58 by taiking on Monday, 15 December 2008 - 9:15 am

    Look even when ex-president clinton was here recently he too adopted diplomacy and gave the country a load full of praises. Didnt he? Only fools and idiots would have their tails wagging to those meaningless words.

    Or maybe I am wrong. It could well be the press that decided to publish only the nice sounding remarks.

    Lets not forget. Didnt we also years ago adopted a look east policy, i.e. learn the japanese ways? I didnt know that the japanese are that corrupted. Are they really?

  59. #59 by Kelvenho on Monday, 15 December 2008 - 2:41 pm

    I believe the whole thing boils down to implementation and enforcement. Do the enforcement officials have the guts to catch
    big fish, especially ministers and the top civil servants link to BN ?
    I doubt it. In order to be the best anti-corruption agency the enforcemnet official concern must show no mercy even to his own family members if found to be corrupted. That will be a good starting

  60. #60 by taiking on Monday, 15 December 2008 - 6:05 pm

    Its a show. Wayang saja. Who doesnt know? That is what umno is good at. Decades of no merits produce jokers with little substance. What to do? Cover-up lah of course. Cover-up with forms.

    So corruption is a problem. No problem pass an Act of Parliament. What other problems? Sodomy? Nevermind if our penal code already cover it, can still pass Anti-sodomy Act. Widen it to catch all sorts of unnatural sex and including sex with animals and birds and fish and insects and half humans and part humans.

    Danial Li is bound to be impressed by the width and scope of our laws. After all he is kinda easily impressed and is definitely generous with good words and remarks.

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