ACA’s statement exonerating Hilmi Yahya of any abuse of power after completing 85% of the probe most improper and further undermines public confidence in ACA independence, professionalism and integrity
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA)’s statement yesterday exonerating Penang Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr. Hilmi Yahya of any abuse of power after completing 85% of the probe was most improper and further undermined public confidence in ACA independence, professionalism and integrity.
The announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi a day earlier at Kepala Batas that the ACA would issue a statement on its investigations on Hilmi had already raised eye-brows about the independence and professionalism of ACA.
In its statement yesterday, the ACA said that after completing about 85 per cent of the probe, it had not found any evidence to show that Hilmi had abused his powers and interfered in an alleged sexual harassment case involving an expatriate from a pharmaceutical company and his subordinate.
The ACA said:
“So far the ACA has not found any evidence to show that Datuk Dr Hilmi had given a directive to the Immigration Department to rescind the revocation of the work permit of the expatriate concerned. And he (Dr Hilmi) does not have any personal interest in the B. Braun Medical company in Bayan Lepas, Penang.”
The social activist Lim Ai Yim, who had highlighted the case, had rightly responded in stating that she had never said that Hilmi had given directives to the Immigration Department or that Hilmi had any personal interests in B. Braun.(Malay Mail)
Abdullah’s announcement 24 hours earlier and the manner of the ACA statement raise the question whether the ACA’s exoneration of Hilmi after 85 per cent of the probe was rushed under the political pressure to clear Hilmi’s name instead of complying with the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance.
Is the ACA establishing a new principle whereby it would make public the results of all investigations after completing 85 per cent of its probe – or is this only specific and special to Hilmi, and if so, why?
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman