PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must investigate Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi over promises of funding he made to Terengganu voters during a speech in Dungun last week, the Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said.
“MACC must commence investigations into Zahid’s announcement to ascertain whether an election offence has been committed.
“If not, MACC must explain why it does not intend to address something that falls within its statutory mandate,” the anti-corruption watchdog said in a statement today.
C4 also called for the implementation of urgent reforms to safeguard MACC’s independence.
This includes the immediate replacement of chief commissioner Azam Baki, “who has presided over a period during which MACC has suffered a deficit in its credibility”.
It also expressed disappointment that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim did not see anything wrong with his deputy’s action.
“His bare assertion that the Cabinet has decided that public funds shall not be used for election campaigning is meaningless when Cabinet members seem to be allowed to do so anyway with no repercussions,” it said.
At an event in Dungun, Terengganu, last week, Zahid called on youths to vote for the “blue and red wave” in the coming state election, saying the funding may be increased depending on the result of the Aug 12 polls.
“That’s what I just (announced). After this, the prime minister will come up (to the stage). He will explain further and, God willing, as long as on Aug 12, the youths join the blue and red wave in Terengganu,” he was reported to have said.
Asked to comment, Azam had said the statement was not an offence.
“In my view, there is no issue with regard to these grants as they are government initiatives. If the allocations were approved by the (federal) government, there is no element of bribery,” he said.