MACC wants Rodziah to hand over documents

By Lourdes Charles, The Star

A Pakatan Rakyat state exco member has been served with an order to hand over certain documents to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating alleged abuse of funds by several state assemblymen.

Five MACC officers went to Rodziah Ismail’s office at the State Secretariat Building yesterday afternoon and served the order under Section 30 (1) of the MACC Act.

Their presence created a scene when hordes of reporters raced to the building as word got out about the officers’ presence following an online news portal’s report about the impending raid.

Rodziah, who is also Batu Tiga assemblyman, said she was at the exco meeting when told by her special assistant that MACC officers wanted to meet him.

“I told my assistant to inform the MACC officers to meet him in my office at the State Secretariat building and to make sure that he was accompanied by the state legal advisers as instructed by Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim,” she said.

She said that Khalid had instructed all exco members and their assistants not to meet with MACC officers anywhere but at the State Secre­tariat following the Teoh Beng Hock incident.

Rodziah said the state legal advisers had requested from the MACC officers a warrant and a notice on the nature of their investigation.

MACC deputy chief Commissioner Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed expressed disappointment with the latest trend by those under investigation or by witnesses to call in the media to record or photograph the MACC officers.

“Such a practice is not only putting pressure on our officers but also on the witness. It is setting a very bad precedent. The MACC officers are carrying out their job professionally but the same cannot be said about those calling the media while we do our job,” he said.

It is learnt the same incident of calling the media happened to Teoh on July 15. He was asked to wait outside while someone called the reporters and photographers when the MACC went to retrieve some documents and a computer from his office.

Teoh was found dead the next day near the state MACC office.

Abu Kassim said the MACC had to protect those under investigation, especially witnesses, without putting undue pressure on them.

He said taking pictures of witnesses or MACC officers not only hampered investigations but also posed a threat to both the witness and the officers concerned.

“There are cases when an investigation was hampered because those involved came to know about the investigations and destroyed crucial documents.

“This practice has to stop. I appeal to the media to cooperate with us for the betterment of fighting corruption,” he added.