Anwar to MACC chief: Why are sharks allowed to swim freely but small fish prosecuted?

PUTRAJAYA : Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will not be able to rein in corruption in Malaysia if those with power are above prosecution.

He said if high-level officials are getting off scot free while selective prosecution continues against Opposition MPs, then the government agency will have a poor public image.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks to members of the media at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya March 22, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks to members of the media at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya March 22, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Anwar had a meeting with MACC chief Datuk Seri Azam Baki for an hour and 15 minutes today (March 22).

When he emerged at 4.15pm, the Opposition Leader told the media that he was told by a former minister that he would be free from prosecution too if he ‘jumped ship’ to the current government.

Anwar said he told Azam that if this is the case, the public will view the MACC as being in cahoots with the government.null

“If the sharks are allowed to swim freely while the small fish are prosecuted, the MACC will lose the trust of the public.

“Then there is the allegation that former and current Umno MPs took 1MDB money but were not prosecuted because they changed allegiances to Bersatu. This is an open secret,” Anwar lamented.

“Same case, same facts. Those who ‘jumped’ were let go; those who didn’t were prosecuted. But the MACC told me that it wasn’t them who made the decision but the attorney general (AG).

“As such, I want the former and current AGs to answer why this is so.”

The last point raised by Anwar was the fact that many complaints have allegedly been made against the prime minister and ministers in the current Cabinet but no action or investigations have been taken against them.

The MACC chief, however, told Anwar that there are investigations but they have not been made public.

“The MACC said they are not protecting these people but investigations are happening. I’m not completely happy with this.

“In our history, we have seen that those in power are above the law. However, overall, I was happy with the meeting,” he added.

Prior to today, Anwar had said there was concern that government agencies such as the MACC, police and Inland Revenue Board had been used to assert pressure on MPs.

Anwar had also at the time said that several PKR MPs, including for Sekijang, Padang Serai, Sungai Siput, Putatan and Miri, had claimed to have been threatened or offered enticements in an attempt to get them to switch sides to the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration.

The latest incident involved Kuala Langat MP Dr Xavier Jeyakumar who jumped ship to PN, saying that his decision was borne out of extreme frustration, following a series of events which happened over the past year.

Earlier today, Anwar met with Opposition MPs in Parliament to talk about the unemployment rate among youths, reconvening Parliament during the Emergency and the National Immunisation Programme, among other things.


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