Claiming power abuse, Bersatu leader raps MACC for calling on party, Muhyiddin’s lawyers
Section 46 of the MACC Act stated that lawyers cannot be pressured to disclose information related to their clients.
(MMO) – A Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) leader has today called out the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for its surprise visit to the law firm representing the party and its president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Its Legal and Constitutional Bureau’s Deputy Chairman Sasha Lyna Abdul Latif accused the commission of power abuse, and contended that Section 46 of the MACC Act stated that lawyers cannot be pressured to disclose information related to their clients.
“This provision is in the MACC Act itself, and the fact that MACC officers acted in contrary to their own founding law is astounding, dangerous and disturbing,” she said in a statement.
“The MACC’s excuse that they did not breach Section 46 is laughable. It was only the stand taken by the lawyers of the firm that forced the MACC raiding team to retreat from their demand to search and seize documents.”
Sasha asserted that lawyers ought to be able to carry out their responsibilities fearlessly and without any favour, adding that clients’ files and information as well as evidence are protected by the privilege rule.
She further urged the government to stop using their agencies or enforcement bodies for their whims in harassing those who opposed or criticised the government.
“Even the Barisan Nasional government under Najib, which had scant respect for the rule of law, did not resort to raiding law firms which had represented then-opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
“Democracy is under severe attack under the Anwar government, wherein flimsy corruption charges are brought against the head of the Opposition coalition, and even his lawyers are not spared,” she said.
Formerly, the law firm Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership confirmed that MACC visited the law firm on October 6 and demanded documents related to some clients.
The Edge reported the firm as saying in a statement that 12 MACC officers were involved in the visit, but gave its assurance that no client documents were given despite the investigators’ demands.
Bernama reported that MACC was investigating several individuals suspected of being involved in corruption and money laundering during the government’s efforts to recover assets related to 1MDB.
MACC Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki when contacted confirmed that the investigation is being conducted under the MACC Act 2009 as well as the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.