What’s so special about Penang, MACC asks (Updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has questioned the need for the agency to provide special treatment to Penang for the opposition-led state to sign the anti-corruption pledge.

Its chief commissioner Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad said other states and agencies were not invited personally by the MACC to sign the pledge but had done so voluntarily, and that Penang should be no exception.

"What's so special about Penang? I would like to stress that we did not issue any letters to any states requesting them to sign the pledge. They were the ones who contacted us, and they did so voluntarily.

"Like what we did today with the police force, it was the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar who contacted me. I didn't know that we have to invite Penang? Why should we?

"I'm just baffled. It's up to you if you want to do it. Don't need to argue. If you don't, I won't mind," he told a press conference after attending the corruption-free pledge signing ceremony with the Royal Malaysian Police, here, yesterday.

Dzulkifli was responding to Lim's statement last week that Penang did not receive any letter from nor were they contacted by the MACC to sign the pledge.

Lim had also, on July 20, said the state would only sign the pledge, provided that it is followed by concrete action to fight graft.

Dzulkifli said it was up to the respective states to show their commitment and seriousness in combating corruption by signing the pledge, but that there was no requirement to abide by it.

"We don't want to force anyone to sign it. If we do that, the rakyat will not be confident (in the states and agencies' corruption-free pledge)," he said.

On Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd's (FIC) questionable purchase of a luxury hotel in Kensington, London, Dzulkifli said more would be arrested soon in relation to the case.

"The case is still under investigation. Insyaallah, wait and more arrests will be made," he said.

On Friday, two men were detained in connection with investigations into FIC, which was said to have overpaid the four-star hotel by at least RM110 million.