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MACC’s multi-agency task force a sham?

 | July 1, 2013

SAVE Rivers said that many reports were lodged against Chief Minister Taib Mahmud as far back as “five or six years ago” and MACC had allegedly been “completely indifferent and quiet”.

KUCHING:  A coalition of Sarawak NGOs has accused the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) latest announcement of a multi-agency task-force investigate allegations against Chief Minister Taib Mahmud as just another ‘sandiwara’.

Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) which comprises NGOs and concerned citizens questioned the “unusually” late bid by MACC to set up the agency.

SAVERivers chairman Peter Kallang said that several reports were lodged against Taib as far back as “five or six years ago” and MACC had all this while allegedly been “completely indifferent and quiet”.

“Considering Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s case is of great public interest, MACC has take an unreasonably long time to complete its probe.  It is only now talking about setting up a multi-agency task force,” said Kallang in responbse to MACC’s latest announcement.

According to reports, the MACC-initiated task force  would include representatives from the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the MACC  itself.

The aim is to “speed up”  investigations into the litany of allegations of fraud and corruption against Taib, who has helmed Sarawak for over 30 years.

According to MACC, once the investigations are completed, a report would be submitted to the A-G’s Chambers  to be studied  by an operations evaluation panel. The panel will determine the integrity and impartiality of the commission in handling the whole issues.

According to a MACC statement, the panel will be made up of individuals from various professional backgrounds.

The statement also noted that MACC recorded statements from more than 20 people in relation to the covertly recorded UK-based Global Witness video which had taped interviews Taib’s cousins and two lawyers implicating Taib in allegedly corrupt dealings in the state. The interviewees allegedly  disclosed illegal means  to circumvent Malaysian laws, pay kickbacks to high officials and the sale and transfer of native customary rights (NCR) land within the state administration.

MACC said they had infact already begun investigations against Taib and had perused  around 400 files, even before the expose by Global Witness.

But Kallang was not impressed.

He said MACC “must get its act together and speed up the process of its investigations.”

“Each day that the MACC delays its probes is a day contributing to the worsening of the situation for those who are affected by irregularities allegedly connected to Taib.

“Moreover, each day the MACC delays its probes, each day the public lose confidence on the MACC.”


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