The statement by chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Dzulkifli Ahmad that it has been decided among relevant government agencies that investigations on 1MDB would be conducted solely by the police and that the MACC will not investigate the sovereign wealth fund over allegations of financial improprieties as it does not want to overlap with investigations already started by the police (“Dzulkifli: Police, not MACC will investigate 1MDB”, FMT, 17.6.2017) is yet another faux pas on his part and is not only shocking but downright disgraceful!
Dzulkifli is not saying that initial investigations into the said scandal by the MACC revealed no offence or offences related to corruption, in which case, it would be understandable for no action to be taken by the MACC.
Instead, Dzulkifli is saying is that he and other government agencies, presumably the police and the Attorney General’s Chambers, have decided among themselves that only the police will investigate the issue. In other words, it is quite obvious that the MACC is not getting involved, not because of independent findings on its part, but because it has been influenced by such agencies that the same ought to be handled only by the police.
Dzulkifli also said that the US Department of Justice (DoJ), which has initiated two lawsuits seeking to seize assets allegedly purchased with funds linked to 1MDB, had not sought any information or assistance from the MACC for the latest suit filed on Thursday which is perhaps another reason why it is not necessary to probe the scandal.
Dzulkifli should know that it matters not if the DoJ has contacted the MACC to assist in investigations into 1MDB. What matters is whether there is reason to investigate 1MDB in the first place.
Dzulkifli is certainly in no position to comment on whether there are any elements of corruption in the 1MDB issue since his own statement above seems to suggest his agency will not carry out any investigations into the matter as it is his view that it is for the police to investigate the same as this has been “decided among relevant government agencies”.
The MACC should not be influenced by any quarter when it comes to investigating corruption. It must investigate corruption without fear or favour and independently of any other agency including the police and the AG’s Chambers.
Dzulkifli’s admission that his agency will not investigate 1MDB because it has been decided among the relevant government agencies that there is no need to do so since the police is investigating the same amounts to an admission on his part that his decision not to investigate 1MDB is not because of a lack of evidence of corruption but because he has been influenced by other government agencies not to do so.
This is a most dangerous precedent which must be corrected immediately as a failure to do so will certainly cast serious doubts on the independence of the MACC.