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Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) must discard its past shameful history of “arrest now, release later” to convince Malaysians that it is committed to netting small or big fry that are corrupt


Press Statement

by Lim Guan Eng



(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): ACA must discard its past shameful history of “arrest now, release later”, to convince Malaysians that it is committed to hunting ‘small or big fries’ that are corrupt. Amongst some of the big corruption cases, the ACA withdrew charges even before it could be heard in court were against former UMNO Youth President and Melaka Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik or mishandling of corruption investigations against Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz.

ACA also failed to act against the extraordinary wealth accumulated through corrupt means by UMNO Port Klang assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Md Deros or by former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Osu Sukam who gambled and lost tens of millions of ringgit in the casinos of London. Worse, ACA failed to act against UMNO leaders who were suspended from their posts for being involved in money politics during campaigning in the party elections.

ACA Director-General Datuk Ahmad Said Hamdan had urged the people not to be skeptical about ACA’s efforts as it does not discriminate when hunting down those small or big fry involved in corruption regardless of their status. How can the people not be skeptical when his predecessor Datuk Seri Zulkipli Mat Noor’s became the first Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general to be accused by the former Sabah ACA Director of being involved in corrupt activities?

So serious was the failure of ACA to take action against corruption that ACA was described as a moral failure that served to cover up rather than expose corruption – Badan Penutup Rasuah instead of Badan Pencegah Rasuah. Even the United States financial house Morgan Stanley estimated that Malaysia lost a shocking US$100 billion from corruption over the last 20 years

DAP has no confidence in the ACA taking action on big fry or small fry on the misuse or mismanagement of public funds outlined in the Auditor-General 2006 report when it has not questioned the Ministers involved on their failure to check the alarming decline in standards of public accountability, transparency and integrity in government departments.

So long as no action is taken against Ministers and top officials, there is nothing new in talk of action by ACA on the sad cases of abuse of public trust and cheating the public ranges from the small such as the National Youth Skills Institute (NYSI) buying 2 units of two-tonne car jack for RM 5,471 per unit when the market price is only RM 50 per unit. Why is there no action on the larger scandals such as the huge expected loss of RM 6.75 billion in the Defense Ministry following the purchase of 6 off-shore naval patrol vessels (OPVs) that were either delivered but not operational (2) or still not delivered (4)?

According to the Auditor-General’s report, equipment for the NYSI was purchased without open tender and had exceeded the original estimate by RM 385 million to RM 785 million from RM 400 million. The Auditor-General had said that the original price for purchasing the equipment was set at RM 400 million before it finally ballooned to RM 785 million. Where did this extra RM 385 million go?

Amongst the excesses was the purchase of 2 units of two-tonne car jack bought for RM 5,471 per unit when the market price is only RM 50 per unit, allowing the contractors to mark up contract prices up to 100 times the market price. Equally unacceptable is the official explanation by Treasury to the Auditor-General on this scandal which appears to try to cover up rather than seek the truth

For instance Treasury claimed the purchase of 90 sets of Faber Castell technical pens at RM 1, 146.56 per set when the market price is RM 160; each set also included a set of spare nibs and other accessories. This is wrong as the original purchase order did not include such accessories. Further such explanations are ridiculous as it would mean that the accessories are more expensive than the original item, as much as almost 10 times the price of the original technical pens or 100 times the 2-tonne jack. Is this another case of “Malaysia Boleh” where the accessories are more expensive than the main parent item?

With such blatant abuses, action taken by ACA so far is only arresting junior government civil servants who are small fry. DAP finds it hard to believe that “small fries” in the Youth and Sports Ministry in 2002 have the authority and power to purchase equipment without open tender and exceeded the original estimate by RM 385 million to RM 785 million from the original RM 400 million. The extra RM 385 million could not have been approved by small fries but only by big fries. Action taken against small fries would be meaningless if no action is taken against big fries and confirm the ACA’s past history of shameful double-standards and policy of “arrest now, release later”.



* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP

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