Director: Suspend probes involving politics

(The Star) KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) director of investigations has suggested that all investigations involving politics be suspended temporarily with immediate effect.

In a fit of frustration, Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdull said he felt that certain quarters were out to tarnish MACC’s image by making vicious and unfoun-ded allegations against the commission, especially against his officers.

“The very people who talk about wanting to fight corruption themselves are creating all the problems.

“Their action in barring their employees from assisting us or coming to the MACC office as well as announcing to the world their people are being investigated and highlighting them in the media is hampering our investigations,’’ he said.

Mohd Shukri claimed that whatever the MACC did was not right in the eyes of certain political parties who kept on accusing the MACC of conspiring with the Government or were being biased and selective in their investigation.

The latest trend of bringing in the media was very worrying as it put additional pressure on the witnesses or suspects, he said.

“When we arrest members from the ruling Government, including ministers, MPs, state assemblymen or businessmen, we don’t see them making a scene or creating a ruckus.”

His suggestion for a stop to all investigation on politically-related cases would mean that the probe on the Port Klang Free Zone controversy would be halted, too.

MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed said he understood Mohd Shukri’s frustration.

He said investigating corruption cases required discreet and in-depth work and most importantly the cooperation of witnesses.

“We want to combat corruption and if law makers themselves start creating a scene and make unfounded allegations against us, including labelling us racists, then how are we to perform effectively?”

“Our job is to curb and combat corruption and we will continue to do so regardless of the allegations hurled against us.

“To me it is part and parcel of our daily job hazard and we will not let such allegations break or dampen our spirit as we have been entrusted to carry out our job professionally,” he added.

An MACC advisory panel member said it was working under intense pressure.

He said the MACC was under-staffed and under-equipped but overloaded with cases.