Will MACC be placed under parliamentary oversight?

It’s the same old same old vitriol against the MACC, irrespective of the government of the day.

Hafiz Hassan, Free Malaysia Today

A former anti-graft chief once warned individuals against using the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as a political tool.

Then MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya issued the warning following a statement by the opposition that MACC should be fair in investigating corruption cases even if it involved people from the ruling government.

“MACC for a long time was used as a political tool, people lodge reports just to get at each other. We strive to be professional and we do not want to be used for this platform,” she told reporters.

Yesterday, Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin said MACC was being used as a political tool to destroy Perikatan Nasional (PN) after the anti-graft body froze two of Bersatu’s bank accounts.

It’s the same old same old vitriol against the MACC, irrespective of the government of the day.

MACC was also called out by PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli in November for being used as a political tool to investigate him but not taking any action against cases of corruption that he had revealed in recent weeks, including alleged wrongdoing involving the littoral combat ships (LCS) scandal.

Rafizi had revealed in a ceramah that his office was “raided” by MACC, with his staff being questioned for up to seven hours.

The “raid” was confirmed by MACC, with the anti-graft body saying that it seized some documents from Rafizi’s office as part of its investigation into his asset declaration regarding his data analytics company Invoke Solutions Sdn Bhd.

Last April, it was then DAP leader Lim Guan Eng who asked if MACC had “become a political weapon used or misused by vested political interests” as observed in a series of what he called “omission and commission” that allowed select government officials and politicians to escape the law while taking a harder stance against others.

In June, the Pakatan Harapan presidential council called on the then government to step up the process of tackling corruption by placing MACC under parliamentary oversight.

Even Dewan Negara president Rais Yatim had called for MACC to be legally supervised by Parliament.

The MACC chief then was, and still is, Azam Baki. Azam had then asserted that MACC was already independent, and that there was no need for the anti-graft agency to come under Parliament.

Lim responded to Azam’s remarks by calling for MACC to be placed under Parliament for it to be a truly independent institution, claiming the anti-graft body was not independent as it came under the direct purview of the prime minister.

“MACC must be accountable to Parliament especially when the MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki had allowed MACC to be used as a political weapon against opposition MPs and those who oppose the government,” Lim told a news conference.

Does the above sound familiar?

Given the latest vitriol by Bersatu’s Hamzah, will the current unity government make good the call to place the MACC under Parliament?