Online probe by ACA has limits


  • Letters
  • Monday, 13 Jan 2003

I READ with anxiety and excitement your front-page report that the Anti-Corruption Agency intends to monitor allegations of power abuse and corruption posted on the Internet, “Online probe,’’ (The Star, Jan 2). 

It was reported that detailed investigations would be carried out to prosecute suspects if there was sufficient evidence.  

ACA analysis division director Mustafa Ali should be commended for making such a visionary statement. 

However, I cannot foresee this happening as there are numerous allegations, whether genuine or not, being posted on the Internet daily. 

The ACA will not have the manpower to screen and digest every single claim and accusation. 

The public still needs to come forward and substantiate the truth of the corruption claim. 

It is impossible for every claim on the Internet to be monitored, let alone be investigated. 

The more pressing issue for the ACA and the public is to urge the lawmakers to review the Anti-Corruption Act 1997 under which an informer can be charged if the allegation of corruption turns out to be false 

This is counter-productive as people will be afraid to report any unscrupulous act or bribery. Another good way to uphold the ACA’s respectability and dignity is to make the agency answerable to Parliament instead of to the Executive. 

The current practice lacks transparency and the findings and truths are always subject to suppression from the “invincible hand.’’ 

Hong Kong has a good system for us to emulate. 

The people are not only interested in seeing the agency catch a few small fry. They hope to see it land big catches of “sharks.’’  

 

DOMINIC LIM KUAN WEE, 

Muar

(via e-mail)  

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