‘Cosy’ Sarawak MACC team needs shake-up, says Rewcastle-Brown

Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown has called on new MACC chief Latheefa Koya to look into corruption in the state.

PETALING JAYA: Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown has slammed Sarawak anti-corruption officers for wrapping up old cases faster than expected by saying there is no new evidence to justify reopening some high-profile cases.

“Wow, he wrapped that up quick enough,” Rewcastle-Brown said when commenting on a statement by Sarawak Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) director Razim Mohd Noor that there is no point re-investigating the allegations if no new evidence is forthcoming.

“Did he even have time to open the files before he snapped them shut again?”

Rewcastle-Brown, who has been exposing alleged corrupt practices in Sarawak, suggested that the “cosy MACC team in Sarawak” be reshuffled with outsiders sent to review their “swift and baffling deliberations” over the years.

She said the Sarawak officers may have announced this as they had earlier said there was no corruption in the state and want their earlier conclusion to stand without further scrutiny.

Rewcastle-Brown said that just last year, Sarawak Report had published an expose on South Sea Energy, alleging that some veteran politicians had entered into a joint partnership to develop Sarawak’s Petros state oil venture.

“Just days ago, we published hard evidence of disgraceful bribery and corruption over the logging of the Murum Dam.

“It is time the new head of MACC address this local difficulty in her department,” she said, referring to newly appointed chief commissioner Latheefa Koya.

She said Latheefa should “bear in mind” rumours that when new MACC officers are sent to conduct investigations in Sarawak, they are met at airports with “offers they can’t refuse”.

“In fact, you don’t need the MACC to tell Sarawakians their government is corrupt, since the evidence is blatant. You (Latheefa) just need someone to do something about it,” she said.

Speaking to reporters in Kuching today, Razim had said some of the cases had been investigated by MACC a long time ago.

“But we have submitted the reports to Putrajaya and it’s up to them to decide,” he said.