MACC already independent, no need to come under Parliament, says Azam


GEORGE TOWN: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should be kept in its current form as it is already an independent institution, says its chief.

Tan Sri Azam Baki said that the MACC is currently able to investigate anyone regardless of their position.

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He added that unlike other anti-corruption bodies around the world, the MACC has no obligation to ask for permission before investigating, and can initiate a probe at any time.

"I was once asked by a senior minister in a WhatsApp message if he is being investigated in relation to the Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd ledger issue and I told him yes, thank you sir," he said.

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Azam added that if the MACC was parked under Parliament, it is likely that the agency would have to follow what has been set by politicians.

"At the time when the public are urging us to be free from political pressure, it would not be appropriate," he said.

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Azam also said the focus should be on ensuring that the chief commissioner has security of tenure, adding that any removal should be subject to a tribunal similar to how judges are removed.

"MACC is transparent with six independent bodies monitoring us, including a parliamentary committee, with a proper check and balance," he said.

On the Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd ledger issue, Azam said there were many high-profile names in it and the MACC has no problem when it comes to probing each and every one of them.

In August, the special committee on corruption (SCC) chairman Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim suggested that Article 145 of the Federal Constitution be amended so that MACC would be answerable to Parliament.

He said that the amendments will allow the MACC to be monitored by Parliament and not the executive branch.

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