MACC powerless against money politics, says Azam Baki

(NST) – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has no authority to investigate or take action against individuals involved in money politics.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki said this was because Malaysia currently has no laws to control political financing.

“Parliament has not passed any legislation that provides a guideline for political parties or politicians on political funding.

“The MACC Act 2009 does not cover offences related to money politics.

“Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan is heading the National Consultative Committee on Political Financing to look into a law on political funding,” he told the New Straits Times today.

Azam said he believed that the bill on political financing may be tabled in Parliament next year.

He was commenting on DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang’s recent blog posting, in which he demanded MACC Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Zulkifli Ahmad to resign over his “failure” to discover the RM1 billion bribe that Lim allegedly received from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Azam, however, said the commission will not investigate the matter.

“It is not an issue of whether we know about it or not. The issue came out on social media but no one came forward to lodge a complaint.

“But, as far as we know, it is not an offence under our laws. So, that is why we did not open an investigation paper on that matter,” he added.

The claim was made by blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin in a recent blog posting entitled “Mahathir bribed Kit Siang RM1 billion to become Pakatan’s Chairman”.

Raja Petra had claimed that in return for Dr Mahathir’s appointment as Pakatan Harapan chairman, Lim would not “spill the beans” on the Bank Negara foreign exchange scandal, which occurred during Dr Mahathir’s tenure as prime minister.

The alleged deal also involved Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, who would supposedly be allowed to contest in a “safe” parliamentary seat in the next general election.

Raja Petra had also alleged that Lim has RM750 million so far, and that the balance would be paid once Mukhriz’s candidacy was confirmed.

It was reported last month that the law to regulate political funding, dubbed the Political Donation and Expenditure Act, would not be tabled in Parliament anytime soon.

Low had said this was due to the Act’s complex nature, which required extensive effort from the national consultative committee on political financing.