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ACA’s actions against Sivarasa and Sim a sad reflection that the ACA is more interested in finding out the source of the leak than punishing the wrongdoers


Press Statement

by Lim Guan Eng



(Petaling Jaya, Friday) : DAP is shocked that the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) is issuing the first threat of punishment not at the wrongdoer of a video clip allegedly detailing a conversation about fixing up judicial appointments at the highest levels but against those who first exposed this scandal of abuses of power at the highest courts of the land. By issuing a legal notice to provide information under Section 22(1) (c) of the Anti-Corruption Act 1997 against Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)'s vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah and party adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s political coordinator Sim Tze Tzin to reveal the source of the eight-minute video clip within seven days, ACA has shown its ugly face that it is bent not on exposing wrongdoers or the authenticity of the tape but in identifying the source of the leak.


It is ridiculous that both Sivarasa and Sim would be the first ones to be punished with two years jail, a fine of RM10, 000 for refusing to comply with the ACA’s notice for steadfastly protecting their source and refusing to bow to such immoral action that is blatantly against public interests. ACA’s conduct has only revealed the real reasons for Malaysia persistent poor performance in battling corruption as shown by Malaysia 43rd position out of 180 countries surveyed in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index for 2007.


With our score of 5.1 out of 10 (10 being the cleanest), Malaysia is on the same level as South Africa and South Korea, countries that until quite recently were easily more corrupt than us. And we are still worse off than countries like Chile, Israel, and Qatar, UAE or African countries like Botswana. The latest action by ACA that is more interested in identifying the source than the wrongdoer has only deepened public perception that ACA is more interested in covering up corruption than exposing them.


Such actions by ACA will only frighten future whistleblowers from exposing wrongdoings when inquiries are set up principally to flush them out. Sadly Malaysia has once again shown that those who abuse their powers are promoted whilst those that expose such abuses face the likelihood of being punished with jail terms.


This latest action by ACA coupled with the admission of impotence by the Special Independent Panel (SIP) set up the government to investigate the authenticity of a video clip, has proven suspicions that the government is not interested in discovering the truth but intent on covering up and whitewashing the whole scandal as a non-event. What is the use of setting up the SIP when panel member Datuk Mahadev Shankar is appealing for people’s good conscience to enable them to do their job effectively and properly?


According to Mahadev: "We have no legal power. We have no power to administer an oath. No power to compel witnesses to come to us. We have no power to commit anybody for contempt. We have no immunity under the law either. If we are a public authority or a commission of inquiry, we will have statutory immunity for what we are doing. For what we are doing now, the only immunity we have is our conscience, our good faith and our honesty of purpose to do this as quick as possible."


If there is conscience, good faith and honesty, there would be no need to set up a SIP, for the key personalities involved would be called up for questioning and even detained. And how can the SIP complete its work professionally and impartially within 30 working days in good faith if they do not even enjoy legal statutory immunity for what they are doing.


The refusal to set up a Royal Commission of Enquiry, which would arm the Commission with powers of enquiry and protection of witnesses that the SIP does not have, is the clearest indictment of the BN government’s refusal to restore judicial independence and clean up the judiciary of “fixed appointments” not commensurate with performance and seniority. DAP demands that the ACA withdraws its legal notice threatening punishment against Sim and Sivarasa if they refuse to comply with its directive to reveal their sources as well as Prime Minister establish a Royal Commission of Enquiry to stop this “political game” to show that the government is clean and just when it is not.



* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP

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