Row between Datuk Nazri Aziz and
Datuk Nordin Ismail highlights the urgent need for making the ACA an
independent body answerable only to the Parliament
by Kerk Kim Hock
(Petaling Jaya, Monday): ACA Investigation Director Datuk Nordin Ismail said two days ago that the agency would no longer be lenient to any witness required to give statements to assist in its investigations and it would apply warrant of arrest against uncooperative witnesses including Ministers.
He said in the past ACA had practiced diplomacy.
In response, Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Nazri Aziz asked why should ACA jump when asked to speed up investigations. He warned Nordin not to threaten Ministers. He was quoted as saying, “ I want to remind him for the last time that he is a government servant and in this structure, Ministers are his superiors and he is answerable to us”.
What Nordin said was merely stating legal powers which have been provided to the ACA and there is therefore no necessity for Nasri to react in such an emotional manner .
His remarks are uncalled for and have in fact put in jeopardy the public image and credibility of the ACA.
However, the question that the public are entitled to know is why has ACA been diplomatic with Ministers?
Nordin should also explain firstly, investigations into how many cases have been delayed due to the diplomacy shown by the ACA and secondly, whether some ministers have been uncooperative.
Two fundamental questions which have surfaced in the row between Datuk Nazri and Datuk Nordin that must be addressed are:
I therefore call on the Prime Minster Abdullah Badawi to show his political will to wage an all out war against corruption in the country by immediately carrying out a total revamp of the ACA and making it an independent body answerable only to the Parliament.
* Kerk Kim Hock, DAP Secretary General and MP for Kota Melaka