MACC chief is not ‘Duterte’

ramasamyBy P Ramasamy

It takes courage and considerable political power to clean the country of corruption and financial scandals. Drug pushers will surrender to the Philippine authorities simply because President Rodrigo Duterte has warned them that if they do not, they will face certain death.

As they say, a new broom sweeps clean for a while. In this respect, the newly appointed Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC), Dzulkifli Ahmad, is certainly seen to be doing his work. Hardly in office, he has already sounded a warning to those involved in corruption to surrender themselves and face a reduced sentence rather than wait to be arrested by his office and charged in court with a maximum sentence imposed.

The Malaysian public is fed up with corruption, money laundering activities and other forms of financial scandals. They would certainly welcome Dzulkilfi’s move to go after those involved in corruption and money laundering activities.

There is no doubt Dzulkifli has good and noble intentions. He wants to do his job as expected by the public. However, is he capable of doing his job in an environment where politicians, particularly those involved in his appointment, are allegedly involved in corrupt activities themselves?

There are tonnes of material concerning Prime Minister Najib Razak’s alleged involvement in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal and his ties with individuals who allegedly misappropriated money from the investment fund, as reported by the US Department of Justice, to purchase properties in the United States.

Is it possible for Dzulkifli to act against officials in higher places especially those who enjoy political power?

Dzulkifli has warned those involved in corrupt practices to surrender or face the wrath of his office. How can those who have committed corrupt acts surrender when the MACC does not have the bite to take on politicians who have been involved in mega crimes?

Furthermore, Dzulkifli knows very well the new appointments in the MACC including his, and the recent replacement of the Attorney-General were all done to shield Najib from prosecution. Well, if Dzulkifli is part of the problem, how then can he be part of the solution to resolve the long-standing problems of corruption in the country?

Dzulkifli cannot be so naive as to think those who committed corrupt acts will surrender to face reduced sentences by putting the fear of the law in them. Philippines President Duterte can succeed in telling drug pushers to surrender simply on the grounds that if they do not, they face death.

Sorry, Dzulkifli is not “Duterte”, so to speak.

Even if those who have committed acts of corruption surrender, it will only be those who indulged in some minor acts and not those who have been involved in mega ones.

Is Dzulkifli prepared to resign from his post if he fails his first test?

P Ramasamy is Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang.

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