Sivakumar summoned by MACC

(FMT) – Human resources minister V Sivakumar has been summoned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the arrest of two of his senior aides in connection with allegations of corruption in the recruitment of foreign workers.

An aide to Sivakumar told FMT that the minister was called in to the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya for “certain formalities”.

“He is neither a witness nor a suspect. He was there for a short while and has left the (MACC) office,” he said.

Yesterday, Sivakumar said he was ready to give his full cooperation to the anti-graft agency if summoned. However, he could not comment further on the investigation to avoid any risk of jeopardising it.

On Friday, the MACC arrested Sivakumar’s private secretary in connection with an investigation into the approval of migrant worker quotas.

The previous day, the anti-graft agency detained one of Sivakumar’s senior officers, along with a foreign worker recruitment agent, a source told FMT.

FMT has reached out to MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki for comment.

Sivakumar yesterday reminded the public not to make any speculations following the arrest of his aides, saying that these arrests are part of the investigation process should anyone lodge a complaint to the agency.

“We will only know if the allegations are true or false once the investigation is complete. If found guilty, they will be charged in court, if not they will be freed,” he said.

The arrests of his aides have led to calls for reform in the foreign worker recruitment process, with the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) urging the government to seriously consider doing away with using third parties.

Yesterday, former Klang MP Charles Santiago called for the management of foreign worker recruitment to be placed under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), instead of the home ministry and the human resources ministry.

He said there should be a department chaired by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and headed by a former judge, CEO or a retired senior government servant.