A glimpse into Malaysia’s high-profile graft cases and MACC’s success rate in netting the ‘sharks’

ONCE accused of only going after the ikan bilis (anchovies), the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is now receiving plaudits for taking on the big fish, perhaps the biggest fish.

Datuk Seri Dr Akhbar Satar, Focus Malaysia


During the premiership of Tun Hussein Onn (January 1976 to July 1981), former Selangor menteri besar (MB) Datuk Harun Idris was sentenced to six years’ jail after being found guilty of corruption charges which included abuse of state funds between 1975 and 1977.

However, after serving three years, the then Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) pardoned Harun in 1981 when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad became the prime minister (July 1981 to October 2003).

In January 1994, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) founder Datuk Seri Pairin Kitingan who was the then Sabah chief minister (CM) was found guilty of using his position to award contracts corruptly and fined RM1,800.

Former Selangor menteri besar (MB) Datuk Harun Idris

Pairin did not have to quit his post of chief minister as the Sabah state constitution and the Federal Constitution only disqualify a person from holding a public office had he/she been fine more than RM2,000 or jailed for more than a year.


Najib, Muhyiddin and Lim Guan Eng

During the tenure of Datuk Seri Najib Razak (April 2009 to May 2018), Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo was sentenced to 12 months’ jail in 2011 for using his then position as Selangor MB to buy two plots of land and a house worth a collective RM6.5 mil for only RM3.5 mil. He was granted parole after serving six months in the Kajang Prison.

Former Penang CM Lim Guan Eng was slapped with charges on June 30, 2016 under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009 and Section 165 of the Penal Code over an allegedly corrupt house purchase deal.

When Dr Mahathir was re-appointed as the PM for his second stint (May2018 to February 2020) during the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration, the prosecution asked for a discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA) on Sept 4, 2018 but the Penang High Court judge decided to grant both charges a full acquittal.

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