Kit Siang fights back as Umno harps on old allegations against Anwar and Azmin.
The Ipoh Timur MP was responding to growing calls by Barisan Nasional leaders for a reopening of old corruption cases allegedly involving Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali.
“I also call upon the MACC to open files involving all ‘big fishes’ that have escaped the dragnet in the past eight years,” said Lim in a blog posting today.
In February 2004, to mark his 100 days in office, Abdullah announced that the now defunct Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) would probe 18 high profile corruption cases.
Subsequently, former Perwaja managing director Eric Chia and former Land and Cooperative Development Minister Kasitah Gadam were charged in court, but both were eventually acquitted.
Last week, pro-Umno newspapers and bloggers published a statutory declaration signed by former Bank Negara assistant governor Abdul Murad Khalid in 1999, in which he accused Anwar of having amassed RM3 billion in wealth during his tenure in the Cabinet.
Murad also claimed that he had personally handled transactions involving millions of ringgit in 20 bank accounts for the former deputy prime minister.
Murad has since retracted the declaration, saying the now defunct Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) had threatened him into signing it.
Anwar on Tuesday responded to the Umno blitz by saying that ACA director of investigations Abdul Razak Idris cleared him of the allegation. Nevertheless, he said he would welcome fresh investigations.
Lim’s article said MACC was a great letdown compared to ACA despite its increased budget and manpower.
He accused the anti-graft body of playing politics, saying it was focusing on opposition leaders to please the BN government.
“MACC pales in comparison to Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) as it has failed to arrest a single ‘big fish’ since its inception three years ago.”
He also said that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Idris Jala was right when he said it was tough to battle public perception on corruption in the country.
“Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s campaign to eradicate corruption is one of his biggest failures, particularly the campaign to fight grand corruption involving high-profile personalities in politics and government,” he said.