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Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity fixed March 12 for Zulkipli and Ramli to appear to address the issue whether it is proper for Zulkipli to continue to helm ACA with serious corruption allegations hanging over his head

Media Statement   
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Wednesday) : Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) Director-General Datuk Seri Zulkipli Mat Noor has responded to very serious allegations of “being a very corrupt senior police officer who had amassed substantial property and assets through corrupt means”  made against him by a former top ACA officer, Mohamad Ramli Manan while still in service in July last year before his retirement on December 8, 2006.

Zulkipli told New Straits Times:  “Let the law take its course”. 

He said  that the allegations were “part and parcel of the agency’s operations” 

He added: 

"There are a lot of challenges in our line of work. Some (people) may be happy, some, of course, may not. The bottom line is justice must be done.

"In this context, certainly I do not want to get involved in matters, issues or allegations that have the tendency to belittle or tarnish the good image of an individual."

Apart from the “Let the law take its course” statement, Zulkipli’s comments are not helpful at all in throwing light on the very serious corruption allegations which had been made against him by Ramli.  The ACA head seems to have mastered the art of making statements which mean nothing at all. 

While the law must undoubtedly be allowed to “take its course”, the immediate concern of all Malaysians serious about the pledge of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when he became the fifth Prime Minister and during the 2004 general election campaign to give top priority to anti-corruption is whether Zulkipli can continue to helm the ACA with these serious corruption allegations hanging over his head.  Or whether the ACA will be further incapacitated with such a person as its head. 

This is one of the reason why the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity yesterday fixed March 12 for Zulkipli and Ramli to appear before it  to address the  issue whether it is proper for Zulkipli to continue to helm ACA. 

Despite the Prime Minister’s commitment to give top priority to anti-corruption in his administration, and the National Integrity Plan five-year  objective to improve Malaysia’s Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) from No. 37 in 2003 to at least No. 30 in 2008, the ACA had been fighting a losing battle both against corruption and to restore national confidence that the ACA is no more a “paper tiger”. 

Zulkipli has failed as ACA head to spearhead the clean-up of corruption in the Abdullah administration, which is reflected by Malaysia’s seven-point plunge in the TI CPI  from No. 37 in 2003 to No. 44 in 2006, for which he should have been summarily removed for dereliction of duty. 

In fact, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has made the very serious indictment that corruption under his successor has “appeared above the table” as compared to his 22-year administration. 

Zulkipli said yesterday that Ramli’s charges were “baseless” and that prior to his appointment as ACA director-general, he had been vetted and cleared by both the ACA and police. 

This raises the usefulness and effectiveness of such vetting process and  the “integrity clearance” by the ACA and the Police – not only for top civil service positions but even for Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Chief Ministers, Mentris Besar, State Ministers and Excos. 

Is it because the process to issue a bill of integrity for top office-holders is unsatisfactory and defective that the ACA has been such a failure on the anti-corruption front in the past three years, with its inability to net and bring to court  the 18 high-profile personalities promised in the early days of the Abdullah administration, why the ACA has not been able to produce any results despite considerable publicity of various ACA investigations, whether concerning the scandals involving APs, MRR2 or the mega gambling debts of former Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Osu Sukam? 

Malaysia will become an international laughing-stock if we have the ACA has a director-general who has serious corruption allegations swirling over his head.


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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