Appointment of politician in MACC dented its image, says ex-CJ

(FMT) – The appointment of a politician as the chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had cast doubt on its credibility, said former chief justice Mohamed Raus Sharif.

“The MACC officers must carry out their duties without fear or favour. Most importantly, it must be free of political interference,” Raus said at the third Malaysia Anti-Corruption Forum here today.

He claimed that certain events over the last four years have brought the independence and impartiality of the commission into question.

“It started with the appointment of an active politician as the chief commissioner of MACC,” he said.

While he did not name the person, it is believed that he was referring to PKR’s Latheefa Koya, who helmed MACC as the fifth chief commissioner from June 2019 to March 2020.

Raus said the appointment had led to widespread perception that actions taken by MACC were politically motivated.

“Not surprisingly, there were allegations of selective investigations, selective prosecutions.

“There were also allegations of improper withdrawal of charges. To top it all, issues on the integrity of a few MACC officers started to surface,” he said.

Raus said present MACC chief Azam Baki now had to shoulder the responsibility of restoring the public trust in the agency, and this was not an “overnight” task.

“I implore all of you to contribute your skills and expertise, and lend a hand to make MACC great again,” he said.

He also advised the public to be responsible when criticising MACC.

“Being an independent body, like the judiciary, MACC must be open to criticism, but harsh and unwarranted remarks weaken MACC.

“It is important that comments made against MACC be exercised responsibly,” he said.