An axe to grind with MACC

Porthos, The Malaysian Insight

I NOTE with much interest calls for Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Azam Baki to be temporarily relieved of his duties pending an investigation into three anti-graft officers.

Why? Is there any evidence that the MACC chief is complicit? None, and yet calls for him to stand aside are still made. What could be the motive behind these calls? Could it be that MACC is investigating further corruption and abuse of power cases, which are causing alarm? Or is it perhaps payback for past probes?

By all means, have the alleged offending officers stand aside while investigation is underway. But doing so to the chief is the same as relieving a CEO of his duties when a salesman is suspected of stealing. It just does not make sense, unless there is another motive.

MACC investigating its own officers is no different than police investigating complaints against their own boys in blue. It is a normal practice around the world. Investigations may also be conducted by another body, but of course you will expect police to conduct their own probe – imagine the uproar if they did not!

So, why is it different for MACC? It, too, is an investigative body. Surely it must investigate its own when there is suspicion of wrongdoing? Of course, police are also on the case, but why should the anti-graft body not do its own probe?

If police do not find any conclusive evidence of a crime, but MACC discovers issues that are worthy of disciplinary action, an internal investigation will ensure appropriate action will be taken where no criminal charges can be proven but there is a civil case to answer.

As for the comments being made about those in authority condemning these acts, is it not best to prove an allegation beyond reasonable doubt before such condemnation is given? Or are we now guilty until proven innocent? The law requires that we must be treated as innocent until proven guilty for a good reason.

Let us focus on proving the allegations against the officers, and stop trying to “prove” that the MACC chief should be responsible for his subordinates’ alleged actions.

Just look at MACC’s track record; it has solved many high-profile cases, with many more in progress. It has worked hard to earn a good reputation by implementing an uncompromising stance and educating the public about corrupt practices.

The public’s respect for the agency should not be undermined by feeble attacks laced with ulterior motives. Why should we allow all this to be destroyed by the alleged actions of three rogue officers? Why should their alleged actions be allowed to taint the MACC chief as well?

We would do well to look hard at those asking for the chief’s resignation under these circumstances, and what they have to gain by pushing for this. Could it be that they have been investigated by MACC in the past and now have an axe to grind?