MACC Chief: Public must fight corruption, not fight with MACC

(Bernama) – The public must come forward and fight corruption, together with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), said its Chief Commissioner, Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed.

All efforts in combating corruption would only be fruitful if there was continuous awareness and support from society, he stressed.

Saying that he believed that “together we can do it,” he added that the “changes must begin now and it should start within us.”

“It should start with the fight against corruption and not by ‘fighting’ the MACC, which is entrusted with this noble responsibility of fighting corruption,” he said in the 2009 MACC annual report.

Abu Kassim said the MACC opened a total of 939 investigation papers last year, out of 5,936 information reports received.

Of the investigation papers, 633 or 67.4 per cent were completed, most of them within six months of investigations.

Abu Kassim said that last year, 500 people were arrested for corrupt practices and 176 charged in court.

He disclosed that the conviction rate at the Subordinate Courts was 64.4 per cent.

The conviction rate of the appeal cases at the High Courts was 65.8 per cent while at the Appeals Court it was 86.2 per cent of the cases.

Abu Kassim also said that 88.9 per cent of the cases which involved forfeiture of property was in favour of the MACC.

MACC has been given approval to recruit 2,620 personnel, comprising 1,839 officers and 781 common staff.

Out of this, 1,382 or 75.1 per cent of the officer posts were filled last year.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board said the MACC performed creditably, despite the challenging environment.

By the end of last year, it was gradually showing good and convincing improvements and this could be discerned from the significant increase in the arrests of politicians (23) and prosecution of politicians (15) last year.

The board, which is headed by former chief justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad, also noted the increase in the arrests of people giving bribes to public officials (108) and high-profile individuals — 31 senior officers from the public sector and 65 executive officers in the private sector.

Meanwhile, the Special Committee on Corruption, a body headed by Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, hopes the MACC would put more focus on high-profile and public interest cases.

The MACC must also act “without fear or favour” in its fight against corruption, it said.

The committee also advised the MACC to publicise its anti-corruption efforts to improve its perception among the public.