KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s consultation and corruption prevention advisory panel wants the Attorney-General’s Chambers to explain why two officers of a former cabinet minister have not been brought to court as announced last week.
Its chairman Datuk Johan Jaaffar said panel members were concerned over media speculation on the matter.
“As an independent panel, we’re concerned with this development as it could lead to public speculation or perception of outside interference,” he said in a statement to Bernama.
He said the 11-member panel strongly felt that in the interest of transparency, the A-G’s Chambers owed the public an explanation.
He said the panel was saddened by mounting speculation of “political intervention” or “selective prosecution” in the delay, but added that it believed such a thing was far from the truth.
Johan said the panel was strongly opposed to any interference, political or otherwise, to MACC’s efforts to fight corruption as this could erode public confidence in the MACC or the A-G’s Chambers as well as the Government.
The MACC had announced in a statement on Jan 27 that the former political secretary with the title of Datuk and a director of one of the foundations headed by the former, would be charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court under the Penal Code on alleged criminal breach of trust involving more the RM1.1mil and another charge of alleged cheating involving RM1mil.
The duo were arrested by MACC and were released on RM50,000 bail each.
The three foundations were set up between the 1980s and 2011, but were not registered as welfare organisations or societies.
They operated as companies with limited liability.
MACC had said that both men held the positions of directors and trustees of the foundations, and the funds were withdrawn from the accounts, in contravention of the objectives for which the bodies were formed.
Johan said the panel would seek an explanation from the A-G’s Chambers as to why the duo, one of whom was a political secretary, were not charged as the MACC had announced.
He said when members of the panel received their letters of re-appointment for another term from Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak recently, the Prime Minister had reiterated his commitment to weed out the scourge of corruption.