PETALING JAYA: The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) wants the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act amended to strengthen the commission’s powers to investigate corrupt practices, especially possession of unusual or unexplained wealth.
This followed news that PKR Youth chief Adam Rosly had been arrested and remanded to assist investigations into allegations of his “unusual wealth”.
However, C4 pointed out that he was being investigated under the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, not the MACC Act.
This was because Section 36 of the MACC Act does not make possessing unusual or unexplained wealth an offence, executive director Cynthia Gabriel said in a statement today.
“While Section 36 of the MACC Act empowers MACC to obtain information in relation to any property held or acquired by an individual, the power is however limited in its reach as it has to be in connection with an offence provided for under the MACC Act.”
Cynthia added that the inability to explain unusual wealth that does not tally with a person’s known or declared source of income was enough to trigger a probe into the commission of an offence.
She urged that Section 36 of the MACC Act be strengthened to allow investigations into unusual or unexplained wealth instead of making such probes dependant on the commission of an offence under the act.
“This move is fundamental to strengthen MACC’s important role to address and deal with corruption, especially those in public office and in higher echelons of power,” she said, adding that such legislation already existed in Hong Kong.
She also called for the enactment of comprehensive asset declaration laws which would aid in tracking the wealth status of public officials and preventing conflict of interest and illegal gains.