Nothing new, says govt on graft allegations against Taib

Sarawak governor Taib Mahmud. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The government today dismissed recent allegations linking Sarawak governor Taib Mahmud to bribery and abuse of power, saying the information is nothing new.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong said Attorney-General Tommy Thomas had studied the case against Taib and determined that no prosecution is necessary.

The minister in charge of legal affairs said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had received information on the allegations from the Bruno Manser Fund and Sarawak Report.

“But the contents of such information is the same as was previously investigated,” he said.

“It is nothing new that can allow MACC to open a new investigation paper. If there is new proof, there is nothing stopping MACC from reopening investigations.”

He was replying to Dr Kelvin Yii (PH-Bandar Kuching) who had asked the prime minister whether MACC, would reopen investigations into Taib and those close to him based on the recent allegations.

Multiple investigation files on Taib have been opened since 2015, but authorities say they are unable to take action due to lack of proof. Putrajaya has long said that Taib can be charged if new reports are filed.

Speaking today, Liew said a two-third majority is needed before MACC can be upgraded to a commission with its own autonomy and powers, answerable to Parliament and not the prime minister.

In a reply to Abdul Hadi Awang (PAS-Marang), he said MACC would amend the MACC Act 2009 to give Parliament a bigger role in choosing the MACC commissioner.

On the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to combat corruption and misuse of power by the police, Liew said it would be formed soon.

In a reply to Oscar Ling (PH-Sibu), Liew said Putrajaya is still studying and drafting the IPCMC draft bill. He said it would be debated in Parliament as soon as it is fine-tuned.