Provide ACA with more clout


  • Letters
  • Tuesday, 15 Jul 2003

THE pledge by the Anti-Corruption Agency to be more open in response to public concern for transparency is welcomed, “ACA opens up”, (The Star, July 10). 

It will now keep all complainants informed of the status of investigations. The ACA will keep heads of government departments informed of the decision of the Attorney General on investigations involving their sub-ordinates, and will issue statements about cases under investigation. 

The move could be in response to concerns that arise as to the progress of investigations into suspect cases once a report is lodged.  

A prolonged period of investigation, which might be genuine enough, is often perceived as an attempt to delay, or even cover up the case, in the hope it might be forgotten. 

This view sometimes surfaces in Parliament as well, and the opposition will scream for blood. 

While gathering of evidence may indeed take time, and has to be performed meticulously, it is now a relief to know that the progress and stage of the inquiry can at least be revealed.  

As in justice, it has to be seen to be done. 

As the nation moves ahead to become fully industrialised and developed, it is important for the existence of credibility both in the public and private sectors. 

The determination of the Government to wipe out the scourge of corruption has to be given a good deal of priority. This will encourage foreign and local companies to be more confident when they contemplate doing business and investing. 

They must have the assurance the process is transparent and above-board, and that underhand payments and related tactics to get things moving are unnecessary and, indeed, will not be tolerated at all by the authorities. 

However, it is hoped the Government considers providing the ACA with more clout that will facilitate speedier investigation and prosecution. 

One would be to have the power of immediate arrest without having to depend too much on the police. The other would be for the Office of the Attorney General to designate a special section to deal solely with corruption cases so that prosecution can be expedited. 

This will certainly be a great deterrent to those who continue to indulge in this shameful practice.  

 

DATUK DR S. VIJAYARATNAM, 

Seremban.  

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