2 caveats on MACC’s independence, credibility and professionalism

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must live down its very bad start which has seriously undermined its claim to independence, credibility and professionalism as compared to its predecessor, Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).

The MACC had swung into action in the past week and although it seemed to be in an “all-out war” mode against Umno “ikan bilis”, it has to convince Malaysians that it is becoming another ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption of Hong Kong) which brooks no nonsense in its fight against corruption on two important grounds:

• Firstly, when will it move from Umno “ikan bilis” to Umno “ikan yu” to eradicate corruption in the most corrupt institution in the country; and

• Secondly, its “stop work” in its first 17 days of establishment for fear of jeopardizing UMNO’s victory in the Kuala Terengganu by-election on January 17, although Malaysians were promised that the MACC would hit the ground attacking corruption from January 1, 2009.

In fact, on January 14, three days before the Kuala Terengganu by-election, the MACC was forced to delay charging a former Barisan Nasional (BN) state assemblyman in Selangor for corruption so as not to affect UMNO’s result in the Kuala Terengganu by-election.

Former BN Selangor State Assemblyman (Semenyih), Datuk Ahmad Kuris Mohd Nor, also former head of the Hulu Langat Umno division, was only charged on four separate counts of corruption involving RM200,000 in the Ampang Sessions Court a week later – after the Kuala Terengganu by-election result.

In the event, whether a former Umno state assemblyman was charged for corruption before or after the polling would have made no difference to the outcome of the Kuala Terenggany by-election result.

But would the MACC be so “considerate” as to hold back corruption charges if the accused involved had been a PAS or Pakatan Rakyat leader?

Can we hear an explanation from the Chief Commissioner of MACC, Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan, to these two clear caveats about the independence, credibility and professionalism of MACC in the very first month of MACC existence?

  1. #1 by computation on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 12:06 pm

    i have no confidence in the macc.

  2. #2 by Racheljansz on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 12:30 pm

    MACC Independence is an OXYMORON!

    It is the samo samo ACA under a new Name.
    Do not expect more.

    Change will only come about when Pakatan become Feb gomen.

  3. #3 by monsterball on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 12:49 pm

    Malaysians must not expect UMNO is seriously.. supporting no corruptions.
    They are performing this side show…trying to win confidence back from Malaysians. Ordinary folks read……..feeling happy UMNO is now doing something right…..feeling happy..Mahathir….is also shouting …to get rid of corruptions.
    UMNO leaders will always protect their big time crooks..no matter what…as when one falls..all will fall and the end of UMNO.
    You think the will do that?

  4. #4 by k1980 on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 1:18 pm

    RPK’s open letter to Pok Lok


  5. #5 by pulau_sibu on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 1:40 pm

    About Intel Plants in Penang.

    I wonder why Penang government cannot take over them, and run as our own industries.

    After decades, are we still not ready to be an industrial leader, but keep on working as technicians for other countries?

    If we look at the car industries, we don’t want to be those working as labourers forever. That applies to the IT industries as well.

    For the IT products, if we produce items are competetive price, we definitely get markets overseas. We can compete with China.

    We need a good leader who has a vision to bring the country a step forward.

  6. #6 by OrangRojak on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 2:14 pm

    You can’t compete with Intel. That’s it, end of story. Unless, that is, you want to be writing comments on LKS blog using Tingkap ’98, running on a PC labelled ‘Proton inside’.

    AMD isn’t doing very well, Sun seems to be losing ground with its Sparcs, the advent of the mobile web seems to have revitalised the fortunes of ARM and MIPS. It’s not rocket science, designing a microprocessor, but it’s not quite as easy as falling off a log either. The big problem is porting operating systems and applications. That’s not impossible either, especially since open source has become so popular. People try. China tries – it’s Loongson chip is probably state of the art for a state-sponsored microprocessor. But it’s pants. It would have to be practically free before someone would choose it over an Intel, AMD or even SPARC or PowerPC based device.

    If Malaysia was to invest in semiconductor fabrication, my top tip would be photovoltaic. It’s a commodity the world will be screaming out for any minute now, and Malaysia, if it doesn’t have ample supplies of the raw material (I thought I read somewhere it does), certainly isn’t short of land to site them or sun to convert to electricity. It doesn’t require the vast number of super-highly trained scientists that processor fabrication requires either. Malaysia could easily become world #1 in something relevant to Malaysians.

    As for the topic… independent Anti-Corruption Commission. Hmmm… Their website says they’ve been making a steadily rising number of arrests year-on-year. Maybe when we see that number levelling off or falling, and it coincides with a public perception that corruption has been largely defeated, maybe then we can assume the MACC acted independently.

  7. #7 by OrangRojak on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 2:26 pm

    it’s Loongson chip
    it’s apostrophe! :'(

  8. #8 by lee wee tak_ on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 2:39 pm

    won’t be surprise if used as a political power consolidation tool

  9. #9 by trublumsian on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 2:49 pm

    current penang government is young and does not have the experience in acquring intel’s facilities n keeping them viable. the federal government will only do worse. doesn’t matter how good the core i7 platform is, and it’s darn good, the economic meltdown is coming to shore. umno continues to be in denial and spins.

  10. #10 by chengho on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 3:13 pm

    ICAC job much tougher and clouder since the problem was inherited since from the Opium War the corruption is becoming a culture in Hong kong and China .

  11. #11 by wanderer on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 6:53 pm


    How can they (MMAC) bite the hands that feed them…only insignificant ikan bilis get the kick!

  12. #12 by just a moment on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 6:55 pm

    YB, greetings to you and all Happy Chinese New Year.
    I just want to know if ther’s any mentioned here about Kugan’s case?

    I cannot help but wonder what this chap Khalid meant by: Don’t politicised tomorrow’s burial. Mr Edward Ling, one of your colleague once mentioned this: There is no such thing as No-political. Infact all our daily stuff that we used have everything to do with politics. Price of petrol to sundry food stuff. You agree? Its the people whom we vote ultimately will be responsible fot the country and its rakyat. So, what nonsence is this chap talking about?

    Now, we have a case of murder, and yet for 51 years, the rakyat has been warned, don’t talk politics? Its not about politics, its a bout justice!! Politics don’t mean its exclusively for the police, right? Nothing can be political by making ‘political’ statement by this idiot.

    Instead of going after the murderer/s, the police are trying to make it a circus, by warning and possibly punishing the 2 Deputy Ministers. Isn’t it true then, its the police themselves started all this political implication?

    How can people not be angry about the way they intimidate the rakyat? Even benchsitters are finding their rights being eroded. To all, there’s no such thing as apolitical, it just means either you are self-important, self-serving, or self-ignorant. Pls do excercise your right before someone else will. Pls, excuse me if I offended anyone here. I don’t mean to. Its your right too, to be indifference or remain silent.

    Just hope DAP will be able to reach out to Kugan’s case because its not about race, its about rakyat of Malaysia, forget about what the police says, politics or no politics, “A life is a life” Kick these idiots out, soonest possible. Sky cahnged is still possible and must!

  13. #13 by k1980 on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 7:09 pm

    Yeah, najib, the NEP is also non-political. Your defeats in Permatang Pauh and Kuala Trengganu are non-political, too. You pushing out Old Dollah as PM is also non-political. To you, the only thing political is opposing umno.

  14. #14 by Mr Smith on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 7:28 pm

    A donkey by any name is still a donkey. This MACC donkey is beholden to UMNO and like all other bodies – police, AG chambers, Inland Revenue Dept, etc – all have to get the green light from UMNO before it takes action.

  15. #15 by carboncopy on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 7:29 pm

    pulau_sibu Says:
    Today at 13: 40.17 (5 hours ago)

    About Intel Plants in Penang.

    I wonder why Penang government cannot take over them, and run as our own industries.

    Here are the reasons:
    1. Intel close down because of global demands for their chip has nose dive.
    2. The plant are test plants. So they do not run independently. Its part of Intel’s chain of manufacturing plants around the world. Taking over the plants but have nothing to test is not a good business idea. :)

    There are many more reasons but I guess the two above would suffice.

  16. #16 by k1980 on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 7:35 pm

    According to RPK, Umno has ‘counter-offered’ Datuk Nasarudin a tasty carrot. If Barisan Nasional forms the Perak State Government then he would be made Menteri Besar if he leaves Pakatan Rakyat and rejoins Umno. Datuk Nasarudin had a good laugh at the offer.

    Did Datuk Nasarudin also had a good fart at the offer?

  17. #17 by Ramesh Laxman on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 7:55 pm

    Dear YB Lim,

    I am surprised that the a provision for ” restitution” has not been included in the MACC. This will serve as a powerful deterrant .

  18. #18 by just a moment on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 7:59 pm

    Emm, money, carrot? these outdated Umno still think money is the only source of solution. How can you blame them, even Nais gave some money to Kugan’s family. All Kugan’s family wanted is justice and yet of all people, najis himself -a potential PM to be, have to show examples to his croonies how it should be done. Yes, money-money solved all problems, its the Umno sure win strategy. Must work as it always will?

    No matter what these …does, its rotten to the core. Can’t be help.Its best buried or like DSAI says: Thrown into South China sea.
    Can’t wait for next GE for get rid of this Umno or entire BN!!!

  19. #19 by mohd ali ismail on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 8:10 pm

    YB Lim,
    Really MACC must start to apprehend and question the corrupt big fish instead of those caught with accepting or handing out 300 ringgits.The MACC must be serious to mete out corruption in all levels of society witout fear or favour.Then,we the rakyat will look upon the Government as fair an transparent.I have an inkling that whats going on now is only a show.They have to put up a better show to fool all of us.I have bought a ticket to see RIHANA’s show.

  20. #20 by Tonberry on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 8:46 pm

    What is MACC?

    It is the same ACA aka BPR. Same staff, same office, same policy, everything also same..only name different. If by changing the name can whitewash all negative perceptions or sins, then i guess a lot of prisoners would want to change their names too.

  21. #21 by rubini on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 8:51 pm

    Mr. Smith was correct like what Obama said; you can put lipstick on a pig, IT WILL STILL BE A PIG ( or maybe a bit like Angelina Jolie).
    Creating 101 commission is not going change anything, UNLESS the corrupt system is changed. Separation of Powers between Judiciary, Parliment & The Executive.
    Separation of the AG Office & Prosecuting Office. Making Appointment of Law Enforcement Agencies Heads especially the Police and Important Civil Service Post subject to Parlimentary Scrutiny & Approval and subjecting them accountable to the Parlimentary Committee & Parliment.
    Parliment should have the Powers to remove any Head of Law Enforcement Agency. Parliment should be empowered to get Yearly Report from these Agencies with regards to the state of affairs they are run to be made public.
    The Government runs on tax payers money, the voters elect their representative in Parliment. All actions by the Civil Service, the Police, Armed Forces are & must subject to Parlimentary Scrutiny.

  22. #22 by cintanegara on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 10:15 pm

    trublumsian …..It clearly shows that the Penang state government is incompetent in managing the state. Perhaps the most ‘greatest’ achievements of this Government over the past 9 months was putting up multilingual road signs and street names in Georgetown…….Without NEPOTISM…..someone else would be Penang Chief Minister today…

  23. #23 by wanderer on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 11:40 pm

    cintanegara, you are eying for the Chief Minister position, er! Cannot lah, you are too corrupted like your UMNO scums. Penang now has a clean govt, no vacancy , perhaps you can go and sell a few more cinta UMNO, 52 YEARS OF NON ZERO ACHIEVEMENTS Cds in your kampong.

  24. #24 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 - 11:53 pm

    The BN declared that they will materialise all promises made to the people of KT during the recent buy-elelction.

    This is a great news. In fact, this is a WIN-WIN outcome for the people of KT: have a non-BN MP while the BN splashes tax-payers’ money back to the constituency.

    So, we should all know what to do in the next buy-election!!

  25. #25 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 - 2:16 am

    MACC is intended to be an eyewash. One is naive to think that there is ever a serious intent or resolve to fight corruption. In fact fighting corruption is (generally) not a viable proposition at this moment for our politicians – whether they are of or from the ruling coalition, BN or the alternative, PR, (if it has the opportunity to form the government).

    I say this not because I extol or condone corruption. Corruption is always bad: it causes misallocation of resources, increases costs of doing business and hence inimical to economic/investment growth, widens the gap between the corrupt privileged few exploiting the ordinary folks, so on and so on…However corruption is a ‘necessary’ evil in that it is a concomitant and integral part rooted in our (indeed any) so-called democratic parliamentary representative political system within a wider capitalist system.

    The reason is because politicians/ political parties/ coalitions need to raise funds/moneys to run election campaigns and win votes and after winning the election, they would need to deploy funds, allocate benfits/ positions to stay in power, i.e to keep those on the same side from crossing over/defecting to the opposing side and in t he next by – elections and general elections to win once again.

    To do this, politicians operate on a system which may be described as “clientelism”. This is a network of patron- client relationship through which the client (corporations, corporate business men) donate funds/moneys to politicians/political organisation for its campaigns on reciprocal bargain that when political positions of influence are won, these will be used to allocate licences and public contracts to the benefactor clients as profit and recompense, a certain portion of which will b e re-chanelled again by the client back to the patron for further licences and public contracts, ad infinitum.

    This species of corruption is political corruption for benefit of political organisation and cause). In Malaysia political corruption is mixed with personal corruption (for one’s own gain).

    A hypothetical example: a corporation (say ) developer makes a political contribution of RM 5 million to a politician who uses his political influence to cause the state to alienate, in exchange, a land to the corporation for RM10 million. To the business corporation, what is RM15 million cost when the land is worth RM40 million in market value? A typical calculation of ‘win-win” in a free enterprise capitalistic system! To the politician who receives RM5 million kick, he keeps 30 % of it (personal corruption) donates another 30% to the Minister or division head responsible for keeping him in that position to influence/dictate land alienattion, with the remaining 40% as political funds to the party, the ultimate godfather to him – and other politicians deriving similar benefits as him…It is al so “win -win” because one can ‘t implicate and prosecute him without implicating also the common Godfather, the Party and it’s top office bearers who received the 40%….

  26. #26 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 - 2:30 am

    Power (getting and maintaining it) is mostly the main raison de etre (reason for existence and being) of politics whilst public service the excuse and justification. Of course there are politicians like Kit of integrity and service but they are exceptions – may be only 10% – which the rest of the 90% corrupt or corruptible politicians make to look bad by a broad tarnish!

    The reason why MACC and fight against corruption is not a viable proposition and cannot work in local context is because, firstly, our mindset/culture is feudal (buttressed further by subsidies ideology of socio-economic re-engineering) jiving very perfectly with the system of “clientelism” and, secondly, an absence of an alternative legitimate and legal way (other than clandestine political corruption) here (like lobbying) to raise political funds to feed that election machinery with a ravenous appetite to feed on money. Obama might have won the presidential election but don’ t forget Obama was able to raise US$6.1 million campaign funds, nearly three times as much as McCain’s US$2.2 million].

    The Americans having a longer history of over 300 years are more experienced : they legitimise and legalize a large part of what would have otherwise constituted money politics/political corruption by a complex system of do’s and don’ts – permissable and prohibited – political fund raising via lobbying. They have elevated political corruption to a state of art even higher than the Privatisation/Piratisation GamePlan of our previous administration!

    By legalising a large part of political corruption as Ok via permissable lobbying, they could concentrate on punishing only cases of personal corruption, taking pride in being less corrupt than societies like us which mix up political corruption and personal corruption as if in a Rojak (as given in hypothethical illustration above), thereby making the situation ostensibly worse!

    After 8th March 08 general election debacle (for BN) one smart Alec, an UMNO politician whose name I can’t remember now, actually proposed UMNO/BN to follow the American system of political fund raising via lobbying – as an alternative to money politics!

    Unless we could camouflage and manage political corruption like the Americans by institutionalising the do’ s and don’ts of how to raise political funds – this mixing up of political corruption and personal corruption will only exacerbate the overall problem of corruption.

    It goes without saying that MACC and the battle against corruption will then be limited to catching“ ikan bilis” and a non-starter as far as the bigger “ikan Yu” is concerned!

    Furthermore it will not only taint the present BN ruling elites but also the next batch from Pakatan Rakyat once they get to power!

    In fact it has already begun. Political Corruption is not just offering gratification in terms of money but also promise of positions, posts and influence.

    It is naive to expect that Pakatan Rakyat could successfully procure crossovers and defections without implicating political corruption!

  27. #27 by pulau_sibu on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 - 6:39 am

    Thanks for the explanation about Intel plants in Penang. It looks like we are still in the primary schools if USA is at the University level. Where is Malaysia boleh? We can go to the moon, but we cannot do something more fundamental and more important.

  28. #28 by computation on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 - 7:09 am

    corruption in malaysia should be made
    punishable by death for amounts in excess
    of say 1 million ringgit.
    i bet most of these “leaders”
    of political parties will then be wiped out.

    how sickening.

  29. #29 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 - 8:40 am

    Yes, we need bigger fish (ikan bilis won’t do) to prepare sashimi and yu-shang during the lunar new year festivities…

  30. #30 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 - 8:55 am

    Don’t you all think that they are trying to take everyone for a ride? What’s in the name? You can call the BODY by anyname, it has no impact until sincere leadership is given the power to take its course. For the time being, the better candidate would be a retired senior judge of acceptable reputation in the country. At the moment, anyone from the Polis is no go; not because that person has no integrity but the WHOLE force has been stained by all kinds of issues. Likewise, the AG Chamber.
    We cannot have some one who has some link with the current set-up in the mind of Malaysians. Perception is important and consequentially the actual act itself. Let’s see some WHALES be caught in the drag-net!

  31. #31 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 - 9:02 am

    pulau_sibu, you are wrong again, we have NOT gone to the moon! We had just taken a joy ride round the earth. Let’s not waste our time, at least for the time being, dreaming of things we can’t achieve. Let’s be more practical in life.
    When our Proton, after more than a quarter of century of maximum tariff protection cannot compete with the Koreans’, you better be more realistics! The ‘Chanting of Malaysia Boleh’ will continue to be chanted for political purpose and at its rallies.

  32. #32 by taiking on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 - 9:21 am

    I would gladly second computation’s proposal on the death sentence for politicians who are guilty of corruption involving sums in excess of 1mil – if only that is possible. And that would certainly be the quickest way to wipe out umno completely. Then the country could just concentrate on turning itself around and seek out the correct direction forward. Not only are we lost and directionless now, worse, we actually have the reverse gear engaged full time by umno!

    Sentiment aside. Can we seriously expect umno to change? Aww just go home and sleep will ya? The whole load of peninsular malays voting against umno did produce a spectacular 308 but still umno quite clearly is unmoved, unchanged and unchangeable. Lip service and window dressing are what they are fond of and are what they are continuing to do.

    I know this is premature judging but its thumb down to macc. The association with umno is the factor that earns macc negative points.

  33. #33 by taiking on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 - 9:25 am

    pulau sibu:

    “Thanks for the explanation about Intel plants in Penang. It looks like we are still in the primary schools if USA is at the University level. Where is Malaysia boleh? We can go to the moon, but we cannot do something more fundamental and more important.”

    Hei dont we have a university which is actually better than harvard and cambridge combined? Never fear UMNO is here.

  34. #34 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 - 9:56 am

    What is argued here is not that corruption is acceptable but that it is a difficult thing to fight against because the temptation to gain an unfair advantage over others is so much a part of natural human nature….

    It may disappoint the idealists but there is no assurance that when the corrupt politicians of the present regime have been removed from office and even punished for it, it necessarily implies that the new class of politicians from the Opposition displacing them will ( generally ) be any less susceptible to t he blandishment of power and this social/political cancer….

    While there are a number of individual politicians who seek public/political office to do good or seek to do the right thing for public and country, the problem is, we cannot make out from the veneer of their rhetoric whether they are many as a class or just an exceptional few, though my sense is that they are the latter (ie exceptional).

    However even if there were many ethical politicians – which I doubt – if the “normal and customary” practices of political campaigning and raising funds involve corruption in the sense as referred in my earlier postings as “clientelism”, and if politicians (whether from BN or PR) believes “everybody’s doing it, and if I don’t do it, I may lose,” then most of these politicians will eventually suspend their ethical codes and succumb to the corruption of “clientelism”! Put another way, politicians otherwise aspiring to be ethical are “converted” by a corrupting political process/system and for the sake of winning and perpetuating public / political office forced to do unto others as they are being done to them. For which reason, the political process/system corrupts politicians as much if not more than the converse situation of politicians corrupting the political process/system!

    Corruption assumes many difference guises and forms but the grandest of it all is political corruption in which politics and corruption converge, meet and interact, as they inevitably will, when our traditionally feudal political culture of blind obedience to leaders and political authority (ala Hang Tuah style since Malacca Sultanate) is foisted (by our colonial masters) a political system based on majority votes canvassed from aggressive political/electoral campaigning and an economic system based on capitalism entolling the virtues of individual profit and money ( ala Adam Smith’s fashion)! Naturally where there is strong political and economic competition, the arbiter is which contender could marshal and raise most moneys to win by leveraging influence and political power to secure unfair gain over markets and the country’s natural resources at the expense of tax payers.

    Unless there were institutional changes to regulate the way moneys are raised for political campaigning, corruption, especially political corruption fuelling personal corruption will continue unabated in our politics/society as a scourge, MACC or no MACC, no difference, whether BN’s running the country or Pakatan Rakyat’s, notwithstanding!

  35. #35 by juno on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 - 10:24 am

    Pak Lah sure knows how to play lego in Umno legoland ,his blokes have blocked sanity and Integrity. The whole govt is bankrupt intellectually.http://sjsandteam.wordpress.com/2009/01/28/how-to-market-the-dying-barisan-nasional/

  36. #36 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 - 4:10 pm

    Amnesty International works towards the protection of human rights.

  37. #37 by son of perpaduan on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 - 9:28 pm


  38. #38 by OrangRojak on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 - 10:01 pm

    I don’t think so. At least, not in capital letters, at any rate.

You must be logged in to post a comment.