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Tuesday December 31, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday December 31, 2013 MYT 6:45:01 AM
by razak ahmad
PETALING JAYA: Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) and the Bar Council have expressed their support to the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission’s (MACC) call for the law to be amended to give the anti-graft body more powers to probe individuals suspected of living beyond their means.
TI-M president Datuk Akhbar Satar said the commission does not have any legal provision at present to compel a person with “tremendous wealth” which does not match the income in their job position to declare his or her assets.
He said such a declaration was needed in order to identify whether the source of wealth was legal or otherwise but at present this cannot be done without the MACC first launching a formal corruption investigation against the individual.
“If Section 36 of the MACC Act 2009 is amended, anyone suspected to have unusual wealth would have to explain to the commission,” said Akhbar.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the MACC said an amendments to Section 36 of the MACC Act was needed to make it easier for it to compel an individual to declare their assets without having to first initiate an investigation.
“The MACC welcomes any move to include this in the list of amendments to the MACC Act 2009 which is due to be brought to Parliament in 2014,” the statement said.
Akhbar said the amendment should top the government’s to-do-list for 2014 because the initiative, if implemented, would enhance public confidence in the MACC.
Bar Council president Christopher Leong said he agreed with any proposed amendment as there was a similar provision which gives Hong Kong’s well-regarded anti-graft body the power to compel an individual to declare his assets without the need to first launch a formal investigation.
“There may be reasonable and valid explanations (to account for a person’s wealth) but the MACC must have the power to inquire into the matter and hold the individuals to account.
“We must assist the MACC to do their job,” said Leong.
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Courts & Crime, Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission
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