MACC confirms probe into ex-Sarawak CM Taib, welcomes more info

(FMT) – Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Latheefa Koya today appeared to suggest that former Sarawak chief minister Taib Mahmud is under investigation, in the wake of calls for him to be probed for abuse of power and corruption.

“We cannot comment on ongoing investigations,” she told reporters on the sidelines of a workshop on beneficial ownership here.

She also said she has yet to meet with Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii, who previously said he would meet with MACC to discuss initiating a probe into Taib who served as chief minister from 1981 to 2014.

Although it was not for the chief commissioner to meet the complainant directly, she added, MACC would process the information.

“If there are complaints, if people have any information or complaints, they are most welcome to bring it in and send it to us, and we will send it to the investigation department,” she said.

Latheefa also urged MPs to streamline the laws on beneficial ownership which she said should be placed under MACC.

She said beneficial ownership laws are needed as many parties would use proxies to avoid corruption investigations.

“We have cases where, when we actually investigate, we find out that a set of vehicles, for example, belongs to the driver when the driver can’t afford it.

“We need to make sure the law is enough to support our investigations. If these laws are under MACC, enforcement would be more effective.”

She said such laws exist under the Company’s Act and the Anti-Money Laundering Act, but that these are not under MACC.

“What we have are various acts which allow various agencies to make sure there is a registry, for example the Companies Commission of Malaysia.

“They must make sure the registry is updated. If they fail to do so, there will be penalties. But whether this is enough or if we need only an additional reference in the MACC Act or a new set of provisions, we will have to see.”