by Sin Chew Daily
Merely two weeks into office, MACC Chief Commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad is going tough as he says he will take more drastic steps to weed out corruption, including freezing the assets of suspects.
While zeroing in on corrupt officials, Dzulkifli is also targeting the bribe givers, in particular the illegal syndicates. He also plans to step up his corruption-busting efforts through other legal enactments, such as the Customs Dept Act and Inland Revenue Act.
Indeed, Dzulkifli’s determination to wipe out corruption should win the support and approval of all Malaysians.
According to the 2015 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) published by Transparency International, Malaysia is ranked 54 among 168 nations worldwide, down four notches compared with the year before. This alone should sound alarm bells to alert the authorities to double their efforts to fight corruption.
Where fighting corruption is concerned, the role of MACC is of critical importance. In the past, the commission used to give the public the impression that it would only tackle small fries and leave the big sharks alone.
Dzulkifli not only needs to intensify the corruption-busting initiatives, but should also set his sights on rebuilding public confidence. This is important because the success of MACC’s efforts to a large extent relies on public coordination and assistance.
In the absence of credibility, MACC’s work to fight corruption might be compromised and might even be viewed by the public with skepticism.
Dzulkifli was transferred from the Attorney-General’s Chambers two weeks ago to take the place of retiring Abu Kassim Mohamed. His appointment drew a lot of controversy and suspicion among Malaysians. It is therefore imperative that Dzulkifli back his own credentials with substantial results.
Meanwhile, MACC’s independence has always been a subject of contention and the new chief should execute his job obligation without fear and favour in order to win back the waning public trust.
MACC can no longer tread the old path if it seriously wants to weed out corruption and restore the country’s clean image.
It must not just wait for the public to lodge the complaint before it takes any action. Instead, MACC must take the initiative to strike first, which Dzulkifli is obviously well aware of.
Dzulkifli says MACC will adopt preventive measures to lock in the corrupt officials in a more proactive manner.
Not having a formal complaint does not mean that corruption does not take place. MACC should launch investigations on its own accord from the various hints available, so as to prevent the spread of corrupt practices.
Dzulkifli has issued a number of statements on fighting corruption ever since he assumed office, offering the public his directions and strategies to fight corruption.
On Monday, MACC detained three civil servants – one each in Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Kelantan – one of who carries the title of Datuk Seri and the other a Datuk. The commission also froze about RM13 million worth of assets.
The MACC must continue to do its job with this kind of attitude in a bid to create a clean and incorrupt Malaysian society.
Sin Chew Daily is a local vernacular publication
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