No new leads to allow fresh MACC probe on Taib, says de facto law minister

(Borneo Post) – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is not reopening its graft investigation against Sarawak Head of State Tun Pehin Abdul Taib Mahmud as it has no new leads, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong.

The de facto law minister acknowledged that MACC had received information from Sarawak Report and environmental group, Bruno Manser Fund, but the information was the same as a previous investigation paper MACC had opened, Malaysiakini reported today.

“There was no new evidence that would allow MACC to open a new investigation paper,” he said in a parliamentary reply to DAP’s Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii in Kuala Lumpur.

“There is no obstruction for MACC to reopen its investigation if there is new evidence. (Previously), the attorney-general had studied the case presented before him and decided there would not be any prosecution,” he said.

Dr Yii had asked if MACC would reopen its investigations on the former chief minister and individuals close to him with evidence provided by Sarawak Report and Bruno Manser.

Dr Yii told The Borneo Post later that the AG that Liew was referring to was Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, who made his decision based on the information he was given.

“So now I am pursuing (the matter) with the new MACC chief (Latheefa Koya) and also AG (Tommy Thomas).

“Because while the previous AG chose not to prosecute, it doesn’t mean there wasn’t any basis in the old investigation papers,” he said, adding he would corroborate past investigations with new information, if any.

Abdul Gani was the AG from 2002 to 2015.

It has been reported that on May 2018, Bruno Manser Fund offered to share new information with MACC on an alleged graft probe against Taib.

Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown also reportedly returned to Malaysia to pursue the same case last year.

In June 2018, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government could not take action against Taib without new complaints.

A month later, then MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull said the commission was unable to take action against Taib despite opening 15 case files against him in 2015 and 2016, as investigations showed there were no cases that could be linked to Taib.

Taib, 83, was chief minister from 1981 to 2014.