MACC eyeing more big fish, says chief

(FMT) – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has set its sights on more big names, revealed the agency’s chief.

Two of human resources minister V Sivakumar’s aides were released from remand yesterday after they were arrested as part of MACC’s investigation into the recruitment of foreign workers, with Sivakumar also called in to provide a statement.

MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki said the anti-graft agency is working on more corruption cases involving high-profile names.

“There will be high-profile cases exposed in one or two months,” he told New Straits Times.

Last month, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said in the Dewan Rakyat that certain members of the government bloc were being investigated by the authorities for corruption.

However, Anwar said he did not have any specific information about these investigations, and that he was leaving it to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to determine whether those being probed should be prosecuted or not.

Azam said he appreciated having the full backing of the prime minister, adding that the agency faced no roadblocks when choosing to pursue cases.

“When there is a drive and political will from the top, especially the prime minister, it makes my job easier,” he said.

“I don’t have a headache. I can sleep at night. I can’t sleep when people start interfering with my job and ask me why am I investigating this or that …”

MACC has been criticised by opposition leaders after Perikatan Nasional chairman and Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, Bersatu’s Tasek Gelugor MP Wan Saiful Wan Jan, and the party’s deputy Segambut chief, Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad, were charged with soliciting and accepting bribes linked to the Jana Wibawa programme.

The programme, introduced in 2020 when Muhyiddin helmed the government, was aimed at helping Bumiputera contractors during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although Muhyiddin and other PN leaders have repeatedly claimed Bersatu is a victim of selective prosecution, Azam stressed that MACC is an independent body that does not report to anyone, including the prime minister.

“It is MACC’s duty to investigate. We will classify, we will decide and then we will execute,” he said.

“I am not going to refer to anybody to signal whether we should proceed with the investigation.

“Bad things will happen if you do that. Our responsibility is to investigate.”