Why pick on Penang, Guan Eng asks MACC

Lim-Guan-Eng-MACCGEORGE TOWN: Why is the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) singling out Penang for its refusal to sign a corruption-free pledge, when other states have also not done it.

That was the question put by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who wondered what was fuelling the “dendam” (vengeance) of MACC chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad of late.

“Why is he like that? Why has he to single us out, when there are other states which have not signed, and yet he does not mention them.

“Why is he angry with us alone? What is the reason behind his anger against Penang?” Lim told reporters here today.

Dzulkifli recently criticised the Penang government for not signing the MACC’s Corruption-Free Pledge, or IBR.

Penang declined to sign and said its own 10-prong anti-corruption policies were good enough. One of the policies requires mandatory asset declaration by all politicians and state employees.

Dzulkifli said other states had signed the pledge voluntarily and he could not “force” Penang to sign. It was reported Selangor and Kelantan had also not signed the pledge yet.

He also criticised Lim for saying Penang did not get an invitation to sign the pledge.

“I don’t know why Lim Guan Eng says we need to invite them. What makes Penang so great? I’m really baffled, but it’s up to him to do what he wants,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lim said since Dzulkifli had said the pledge was to be taken voluntarily, he would discuss this with his state executive council this Friday.

He said it was odd that the pledge was not made known in writing to the Penang government.

Lim said, ideally, if the pledge was to be signed by Penang, it must include the state’s existing 10-prong anti-corruption policies, which were in practice.

He said being corruption-free was not just about signing pledges, but also having the political will to fight corruption. He said Penang was showing the way with its reduced debt, open tender system and yearly budget surpluses.

“We have been corruption-free, recording year-on-year surpluses, praises from the Auditor-General and Transparency International,” he said.