Ex-CJ detached from reality, says Ramkarpal after MACC remarks

(FMT) – DAP MP Ramkarpal Singh has criticised former chief justice Mohamed Raus Sharif over his remarks on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), describing the former judge as “a man detached from reality”.

This comes after Raus said a politician’s appointment as the MACC chief commissioner had cast doubt on its credibility. He was believed to be referring to Latheefa Koya, who led the anti-graft agency from June 2019 to March 2020.

In a statement, Ramkarpal said Raus’ remarks suggested that MACC had the public’s confidence before Latheefa’s appointment, adding that this “cannot be further from the truth”.

The Bukit Gelugor MP pointed out how Latheefa had unveiled leaked audio recordings between former prime minister Najib Razak and former MACC chief Dzulkifli Ahmad in 2016, which he said gave the commission’s image a beating.

“Whether or not the said recordings are true, they are certainly damning and ought to have been addressed by Raus, particularly when (current MACC chief) Azam Baki himself was at the press conference when the recordings were exposed.

“But the biggest disappointment was Raus’ failure to address the elephant in the room – the recent shares controversy surrounding Azam which has attracted considerable criticism from the public, leading to a serious confidence deficit in MACC.

“One would have thought such incidents would have been addressed or at least commented on by a former chief justice at such an esteemed event,” he said.

Ramkarpal said Raus was pinning the blame for the rot in MACC’s image on Latheefa’s appointment but seemed to be ignorant about the public perception of the agency today.

At the third Malaysia Anti-Corruption Forum yesterday, Raus claimed that certain events over the last four years had brought the independence and impartiality of MACC into question.

This, he said, started with the appointment of an “active politician” as the MACC chief, leading to the widespread perception that actions taken by MACC were politically motivated.

Previously, Azam allegedly bought millions of shares and warrants in public-listed companies with a value over the RM100,000 cap on equity holdings by civil servants.

An MACC advisory panel cleared Azam of wrongdoing following his explanation that his brother, Nasir, had used his account to purchase shares that were later transferred to Nasir’s account.

On Jan 18, the Securities Commission said it could not prove any breaches under Section 25 (4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991 (Sicda) in relation to the ownership of shares in Azam’s trading accounts.

In March, law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the issue had been resolved, though home minister Hamzah Zainudin confirmed that the police were investigating the matter.