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No prosecution power for MACC

 | November 7, 2012

The power to prosecute corruption cases will remain in the attorney-general's hands, says the PM's Department.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government does not intend to give the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) the power to prosecute those found guilty of corruption.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong said if the MACC were to get these powers, there would be no check-and-balance for the system.

“If the MACC has the power to convict, there will be no independence of mind, because the facts of a case need to be considered objectively,” he told the Dewan Rakyat.

He added that the Attorney-General’s Chambers already handled all criminal cases, and that corruption was one part of it.

Citing Article 145 of the Federal Constitution, he said that the AG had absolute power to start, conduct or stop any proceeding for an offence, except those covered in the Syariah, native or military courts.

Currently, MACC officials, according to Section 7 of the MACC Act, could only investigate corruption offences.

Liew was responding to a query by Independent Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong, who asked if the government intended on amending this section, and transfer the power to prosecute corruption cases to the MACC.

Wee then called the AG’s Chambers into question, and asked how the government could make sure that it too would have the “independence of mind”.

He said that there were some cases that had either taken a long time to convict, while some with no action taken at all.

“…investigation papers have been forwarded to the AG’s Chambers, but no action has been taken. Do we need another agency to take care of the Chambers so that the officers there, or the AG [Abdul Gani Patail] himself do their work properly?” he asked.

To this, Liew repeated his point that the AG had absolute powers, adding: “This is the power given to the AG. There’s no question about it.”

Then, Wee interrupted, saying: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Liew replied: “That is your view.” He reminded the Wangsa Maju MP that Parliament itself acted as a check-and-balance for the AG.


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