Dare MACC emulate its Indonesian counterpart, KPK and introduce game-changer in anti-corruption battle by requiring all political leaders and public servants to explain unusually high wealth not in line with their official salary?

“Don’t shoot MACC from behind” is one newspaper headline today, quoting the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Abu Kassim yesterday when urging politicians from all parties not to “shoot the MACC from behind”, saying that this would only make it even more difficult to fight corruption.

He said: “The MACC is the army to fight corruption. If you shoot us from behind, who could our society ask for help against corruption.”

Abu Kassim is grossly mistaken. Pakatan Rakyat politicians do not shoot MACC from behind but from the front, for its obvious failings and ineffectiveness in the war against corruption, allowing the MACC to defend itself. There is no reason for PR political leaders to hide their criticisms of MACC.

Only UMNO/Barisan Nasional politicians have the resources, means and even the motivation to shoot MACC from behind, to ensure that the MACC, which is already a complaint and subservient creature of the political leaders in power, will become even more compliant and subservient to the other lower-ranking leaders in the ruling coalition.

Secondly, four years after the elevation of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to MACC with increased powers, funding and staffing, Malaysians are not convinced that the MACC is “the army to fight corruption”.

MACC has still blood on its hands, with the death of DAP aide Teoh Beng Hock and customs officer Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamad on its premises still to be unsatisfactorily accounted for. Clearly, only a change of government in Putrajaya in the 13GE followed by the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry can get to the bottom of the mysterious deaths of Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbaini on the MACC premises.

The establishment of MACC from the elevation of the former ACA since January 2009 had been marked by a worsening problem of corruption as reflected by Malaysia plunging to the lowest ranking and score in these four years in the 18-year annual Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) series since 1995.

In the first year of TI CPI in 1995, Malaysia was ranked 23rd out of 41 countries, falling to No. 37th ranking in 2003 when Mahathir stepped down as Prime Minister at the end of the year.

Despite all the Abdullah boasts of “Mr. Clean”, “Modern-Day Justice Bao”, “all-out war against corruption” and “impending arrest of 18 ‘big fishes’”, Malaysia’s TI CPI continued on a headlong plunge in Abdullah’s five-year premiership, falling to No. 47 ranking in 2008.

But in the four years since the establishment of MACC replacing ACA, which also coincides with the premiership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Malaysia’s TI CPI not only continued in the downward plunge, but reached even lower depths – No. 56 in 2009 and 2010, No. 60 in 2011 and No. 54 in 2012.

Can Abu Kassim and MACC explain why Malaysia performed so badly in the TI CPI in the four years since establishment of MACC in 2009 as compared to the 14 years from 1995 to 2008 under the two previous Prime Ministers, Mahathir and Abdullah?

Or why MACC failed to achieve the 2009 National Key Result Area (NKRA) target of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) to increase Malaysia’s TI CPI 2010 score to 4.9 (which would have ranked Malaysia in No. 48th position instead of the actual 56th placing)?

Or going further back, the reasons for Malaysia’s abysmal failure to achieve the target of the five-year National Integrity Plan (2004-2008) to improve Malaysia’s ranking in the TI CPI from 37th place in 2003 to at least 30th position in 2008 with a score of at least 6.5? (10 being the best and 0 the worst)

Are there any signs that the MACC would cease to be a creature of the powers-that-be and be more effective and independent in combating corruption, particularly “grand corruption” involving top political and government leaders in the coming years” or must this wait until there is a change of government in Putrajaya?

Although Malaysia boasts of being better than Indonesia with regard to the problem of corruption, Indonesia is chalking up more impressive improvements in the war against corruption in the past two decades.

In 1995, Indonesia was at the bottom of the TI CPI ranking at No. 41 position with a score of 1.94. It clawed up to the rank of 100 out of 183 countries in the TI CPI 2011 with a score of 3.0.

In contrast, Malaysia had been regressing in both ranking and score since 1995, down to No. 60 with 4.3 score in the TI CPI 2011.

Indonesia is ranked No. 118 out of 176 countries with a score of 32 out of 100 in TI CPI 2012, as compared to Malaysia’s ranking of 54 with score of 49.

However, there are significant progress and even game-changers in the anti-corruption campaign in Indonesia which is completely absent in Malaysia.

Last Friday, Indonesia’s Youth and Sports Affairs Minister Andi Mallarangeng, once thought to be presidential material, resigned after being named a suspect on corruption charges by the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – KPK).

KPK has also announced plans to require all state officials to explain unusually high wealth not in line with their official salary, which is regarded as a game-changer in the war against corruption in Indonesia.

Would Abu Kassim and MACC dare to emulate their Indonesian counterpart KPK and introduce the game-changer in anti-corruption battle in Malaysia by requiring all political leaders and public servants to explain extraordinary and unusual wealth whether assets, income or lifestyles, totally disproportionate to their official salary?

It is when Abu Kassim and MACC dare to introduce a game-changer like this in the war against corruption that they can begin to win confidence of the Malaysian public in their efficiency, independence, professionalism and integrity in the all-out war against corruption and chart an improvement in the TI CPI for Malaysia in the coming years.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 - 4:53 pm

    Malaysians will not see light in the tunnel in the fight against corruption unless there is a change of government.

  2. #2 by cseng on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 - 5:35 pm

    We must fight corrruption with ‘transperancy’ and ‘accountability’. Did macc ever put effort or work on these?

    If kassim felt the back pain, why you cover those corupts with your back? They are shooting at those corruption, but you get in between, with your back covering the corruption, what choice do we have?

    So, stop doing this, before it breaks your back.

  3. #3 by cseng on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 - 9:53 pm

    Even macc is corrupted by the system. All avenue to right the rotten system from within has proven fail. The corrupted system has to be replaced.

    Macc now is just a training center for Ministers, MP to learn about corruption, and manage the corruption perception.

  4. #4 by Cinapek on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 - 10:12 pm

    Really Datuk Seri Abu Kassim, it is very simple. Firstly just get to the bottom of who caused the death of Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamad. Then be transparent on the investigation into the Scorpene submarine purchase. While at it, also come clean on the other unexplained excessive defence purchases. Next, reveal what has MACC discovered in the PKFZ and the infamous NFC scandal.

    The rakyat are also very interested to know the real facts of the RM40m Sabah UMNO “donation”. And also its linked “Humveegate”. And not to forget the White Haired Rajah of Sarawak, who would surely fail the KPK yardstick of officials who has to explain their immense wealth that are disproportionate to their salary.

    If you can promise you will take the needed action on these cases, I promise I will stand in front or behind you to block any shots at you or MACC.

  5. #5 by monsterball on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 - 1:27 am

    I have always known the Indonesian politicians… no matter who wins and governs are more sincere to the country and people.
    Will Umno B politicians dare to claim that too?

  6. #6 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 - 2:36 am

    Mahathirism and everything it touches – from UMNO, the laws it makes, to our national institutions including MACC is, first and foremost, about EXCUSE-MAKING.. That is really what it is about be it in politics, be it in governance, be it their jobs..

    Its why its being charged being bankrupt of ideas. The excuse making had worked because there was just a little of it that the system could still work and the country was both lucky and rich in resources. A combination of being in the right place at the right time, willing to compromise institutions and principles as well as just naturally wealthy, makes the excuse making partly just exploitation of both resources and situation on top of exploitation of people.

    But the end of rich resources and being lucky and too many weakened institutions and systems, makes the EXCUSE-MAKING just ran out of road to go..

    Najib’s administration, took the excuse-making to new heights which is why it received Mahathir’s approval while Badawi did not. But the new excuse-making were paper thin even if its a higher form. It had little substance to stand on unlike the older and more substantial and less obvious excuse making. Excuse making are always pyramids that eventually run out of room to go up..

    The MACC was particularly elaborate in set up as a excuse making machinery. Badawi tried to start something that was not just excuse making but paid a high price for it. When Najib took over, to his credit, he found a way to make more excuses for the MACC and thereby extend its life a little longer.

    But they are still running out of room for excuses simply because the excuses really gets thinner and thiner, just delaying what we the rakyat has insisted cannot go on nearly a decade ago already..

    They will never give up excuse-making. Its just not in them to. Its too ingrained..

  7. #7 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 - 8:51 am

    First of all, can macc ever get past nazri’s mentality?
    End of story.

  8. #8 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 - 11:36 am

    We cannot have an institution that protects high-profile figures who committed grand corruption.

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