MACC to review all closed, unresolved and NFA cases

MACC chief Latheefa Koya speaks to reporters at the commission’s headquarters in George Town, Penang, today.

GEORGE TOWN: Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Latheefa Koya today said all closed, unresolved and “no further action” (NFA) corruption cases will be reviewed.

She said cases that were controversial and related to very important persons (VIPs) were on the high priority list.

“I have summoned for all the files which involve controversial figures and I need to go through them, understand why they were closed or ‘NFA-ed’ for the right reasons.

“I have asked for a review of all cases of public interest and involving VIPs. I have given instructions (on this), regardless of whether they are in Sarawak, Selangor or Penang.

“It will not be so fast as I need some time to look through all of them,” she said at a press conference at the Penang MACC headquarters here today.

Asked if former chief minister Lim Guan Eng’s corruption case would be reviewed, Latheefa said the case had gone through the courts and, therefore, the MACC could not review it.

“If a particular case has gone to court, once a court case is over and it is closed, it will not make sense to reopen it, unless there are new updates,” she said.

On the arrest of a lower court judge by MACC, Latheefa said it was the “tip of the iceberg”, as it was likely that there were more of such cases.

“We are sure this is not just one case. It is a very serious case, involving high level officers from the police up to the prosecuting officer.

“This is not about cops receiving bribes, we are very seriously concerned about this. We hope the arrest of the nine people, including the judge, will send a strong message to the rest,” she said.

Separately, Latheefa called on private companies to have their own integrity officers to ensure corrupt elements were weeded out and to play their role as watchdogs in their organisations.

She said companies could enrol their nominated officers for training with MACC and become certified integrity officers.

She said that since 2015, integrity officers from MACC had been loaned to all government departments to keep watch on their activities.

The officers, on high pay grades, had powers to look up for documents, minutes of meetings and more, with an obligation to report any wrongdoing to MACC.

“If anyone undermines these officers, they will get into trouble. These officers are on rotation and do not stay long in one department and when we send you one, you have to take it.

“For me, all government departments are under suspicion (of corruption) by MACC. Any department holding public funds should be kept on a constant watch,” she said.

Latheefa said MACC was also working hard to educate junior aides to ministers and other new civil servants on basic understanding on what constitutes corruption.

She said political secretaries to ministers, especially, ought to be educated about this.

“We want pol-secs to know that they cannot meddle with matters related to tenders or projects. A lot of these young politicians do not seem to know what their limits are,” she said.

Asked about Zoo Negara’s lack of funds issue, Latheefa said: “It does have elements of corruption and we will verify this. We will look further into the matter.”