PETALING JAYA: A former MP has demanded that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) be fully transparent in its handling of high-profile cases following raids conducted on the offices of lawyers representing former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Former Klang MP Charles Santiago said MACC cannot remain silent after taking such serious action as it risks marring the reputations of those involved.
On Friday, Rosli Dahlan, who once acted as lead counsel for 1MDB and currently represents the Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman in his defamation suit against Anwar Ibrahim, had his law firm Rosli Dahlan Saravana’s offices raided by MACC officers in an attempt to seize documents.
The MACC also visited the law firm of Chetan Jethwani & Company and made similar demands.
Both law firms have since issued statements confirming that they did not release any documents or information to MACC, citing legal professional privilege.
Santiago said it was incumbent on the anti-graft agency to explain its actions to the public and release timely updates about the case given its high-profile nature.
“MACC made a big show of raiding and making arrests, but quite often nothing comes out (of such actions). For instance, what happened to the ‘Dato Malik’ case,” he asked when contacted by FMT.
“What are the significant developments? There must have been some proof to initiate action in the first place. When you conduct a raid you cast doubt over a person or company’s credibility.”
Abdul Malik Dasthigeer, commonly referred to as “Dato Malik”, was arrested by MACC in July only to be released shortly after.
He is the founder and chairman of Malik Group of Companies and is known for bringing artistes from India to perform concerts in Malaysia.
The day after Malik was detained, MACC raided several locations and seized nearly RM40 million in cash and gold.
“What was the outcome of these raids? (A lack of clarity) can affect the government’s credibility because it will lead to accusations of misuse of power,” Santiago said.
He added that non-disclosure would give the perception that the government is using the anti-graft agency to intimidate enemies rather than combat corruption.
Santiago said the MACC cannot let these cases “slip into silence”. Even if they had been classified as warranting “no further action”, the commission has a duty to publicly explain why.
“MACC going silent has negative implications for its anti-corruption work. People may think they can be ‘bought out’.”
Aside from his work with 1MDB and Muhyiddin, Rosli is also involved in his own defamation suit against former Umno Supreme Council member Lokman Noor Adam and two others over allegations that he and his firm obtained huge commissions from the government’s 1MDB-related settlements with Goldman Sachs and AmBank.