Ex-MACC officer: No rule that says interviews can’t be done at odd hours

(The Star) – There is no law or rule stating that witnesses cannot be interviewed or examined at odd hours or after office hours, said a former top Malaysian Anti-Corrup-tion Commission (MACC) investigator.

R. Rathakrishnan, 57, a former director of the MACC Academy, who has a track record of obtaining a 99.9% conviction rate for all cases he investigated, said any move to limit interviewing hours of witnesses would only tie the hands of the investigators besides creating a backlog of cases.

“Time is of the essence to any investigator as he or she needs to ensure the evidence is not tampered with or destroyed by the parties under investigation.

“We have to act fast when investigating corruption cases as they are one of the hardest and toughest crimes to investigate and prosecute,” he told The Star in an interview yesterday.

Expressing sympathy for Teoh Beng Hock’s family, Rathakrishnan said the public and politicians were over-reacting to Teoh’s death.

He said normally, a witness would be asked to come for the interview at a time convenient to the person to ensure the person “feels comfortable while being examined by the investigator”.

“Cool heads should prevail and everyone should stop speculating about Teoh’s death.”

Malaysian Institute of Integrity president Datuk Dr Mohd Tap Salleh said the public should go to the authorities if they have information on Teoh’s death and not simply make allegations in blogs.

“This is unhealthy. When you write in blogs without proper facts, you confuse the public,” he said, adding that individuals with the power to influence must be more responsible.

“You cannot simply get publicity by accusing without having all the facts,” he said after a press conference to announce the Pan-Commonwealth Workshop from Aug 3 to Aug 7.

Mohd Tap said his comment was meant to be general and not directed at the blog written against the Selangor executive council members Ronnie Liu and Ean Yong Hian Wah.