I wish we can throw several corrupt individuals in prison, says Azmin

Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali says the Attorney-General’s Chambers must be given time to prepare their case.

SHAH ALAM: Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali today expressed his anger over several individuals who have been accused of corruption.

Azmin stated that if it were up to him, many would have been thrown into prison but said he did not have the power to do so.

“Yes, we are mad with several individuals. If it were up to us, we would have thrown them into prison already.

“But as much as we want those who abuse their power to be charged in court, we must follow the rule of law,” he said in response to a question at a forum organised by Sinar Harian today.

A participant, a Felda settler, had wanted to know if action would be taken against former Felda chairman Isa Samad.

Azmin said for people to be charged in court, the Attorney-General’s Chambers would need to have a strong case.

“If we are negligent and rash, the case is weak, and if the court frees the person, it will be a slap in our faces because we were not thorough in our investigations.

“Give time to the AGC to fine-tune their case. When the papers are ready, then the case will be brought to court accordingly,” he said.

The Gombak MP also said that in the White Paper on Felda, which would be tabled at the upcoming parliamentary sitting, there were things that would not be included as they were still being investigated.

“We have asked the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on what financial mismanagements we can expose, and they said some cannot be revealed because it covers overseas investments,” he said.

No spouses on short overseas work trips

Azmin also said the Cabinet had agreed that leaders going on short work trips abroad could no longer bring their spouses along to cut public expenditure.

“Our entourage is small. One minister, two officers.

“This is about work culture. We are going to work anyway, not for holiday, shopping, or golfing,” he said.

Azmin pointed out that when he was menteri besar, he was aware that many ministers would arrive three days earlier for a conference, and then go golfing, while their wives go shopping.

When the conference concludes, Azmin said they would stay another three days before leaving.

“For us, it is different. We arrive on the day of the conference, and after it ends, we go back.

“We need to save money. It is taxpayers’ money,” he said.

Final stage of asset declaration

Azmin also told reporters that he was in the final stage of declaring his assets. He said all ministers and other state leaders have until Monday to declare their assets to MACC.

“The prime minister will also declare his assets to MACC. Our asset declarations will later be made public,” he added.