MACC to study claims before probing Zahid, Mahathir

(FMT) – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will have to study the graft allegations made against Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Dr Mahathir Mohamad before it can begin to investigate them.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Azam Baki said it was important to determine whether or not an accusation contained elements of corruption.

“We receive many allegations of people living in luxury or have great wealth but we must first check whether there are elements of corruption.

“People with many assets may not have accumulated them through corruption. That is my answer for now,” he told reporters after attending the signing of a Corruption-Free Pledge (IBR) at the immigration department.

Former prime minister Mahathir, on Aug 1, revealed that deputy prime minister Zahid had RM230 million in his bank account in 1996 when the latter was appointed Umno Youth leader.

Mahathir said Zahid told him of the amount verbally and he had no evidence to support his claim.

Zahid said last Saturday he was ready to be investigated by MACC while at the same time urging the agency to look into the wealth of Mahathir and his children.

Azam said MACC must have grounds to suspect corruption and abuse of power before it could investigate someone.

“We cannot take action outside what we are empowered to do. That would be committing a wrongdoing,” he added.