MACC’s statement about Ahmad Zahid Hamidi being questioned could be viewed as interference in the general election, says the president of MAP.
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has been asked to explain the timing of its announcement that Barisan Nasional chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi would be questioned over alleged links to the littoral combat ship scandal.
MACC’s announcement, coming just two days before nomination day, could be perceived as interference in the general election, said P Waytha Moorthy.
“It can be seen as a form of interference as it (the announcement) is capable of sullying the mindset of voters and painting the coalition led by Zahid in bad light,” Waytha, who heads the Malaysian Advancement Party (MAP), said in a statement.
“In Malaysia, prosecutions against politicians during elections are unheard of; it appears this is the first time the authorities are publicly releasing media statements against a candidate and leader of a coalition when the country is in the middle of conducting an election,” he said.
The anti-graft agency need not publicise what they were doing during such “sensitive times” given the likelihood of dirty tactics being employed by BN’s rivals during the campaign period, he said.
He said the authorities should emulate the 60-day rule adopted in the US where no action would be taken against politicians to avoid accusations of official interference in the electoral process.
Three days ago the MACC said it was ready to meet blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin over his allegation that Zahid had received kickbacks amounting to S$20 million (about RM67 million) connected to the troubled LCS project.
Raja Petra also claimed to have documents and evidence linking Zahid to the scandal.
The LCS project came under parliamentary scrutiny over the non-delivery of six ships contracted for by the defence ministry.
MACC said it would decide on calling Zahid for questioning after meeting the blogger. Zahid has since threatened to sue Raja Petra over the claims.