Lack of manpower in MACC, chief commissioner says (Updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is now facing a new challenge in its endless fight against graft, which is the lack of manpower.

Stating this, its Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad said the government had promised in 2008 to increase the number of personnel to 5,000, but the current number only stood at around 2,100 people.

"(The shortage) may be due to the economic situation, as there needs to be an additional budget if we want to increase our personnel.

"Now, it is already 2017. It would be very great for us if we can get roughly the (ideal) amount (of 5,000 personnel).

"We are working with the government to increase the intake in the future. I have also given my order to increase our size and we will have a large intake next year, provided it is approved by the government," he added.

Dzulkifli said this during a press conference after attending the basic training graduation ceremony of 223 MACC officers at the Police Training Academy in Jalan Semarak.

He said the shortage of personnel was a drawback for the MACC in conducting its investigations.

"With about 2,000 personnel, we need to take care of 1.6 million civil servants. We are not even talking about GLCs (government-linked companies), statutory bodies and the private sector," he said.

Commenting on another matter, Dzulkifli said the commission had sent an application on Thursday to the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) over its intention to haul Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to court.

In making a correction, he said the application was not yet submitted in contrast to several previous news reports stating otherwise.

This was after Lim's refusal to apologise to MACC after he had described the detention of Penang Exco member Phee Boon Poh last month over an illegal factory in Bukit Mertajam, as illegal.

"As a government agency, any civil action that needs to be taken must be consulted with the AGC.

"Although the top management of MACC has decided for such an action to be taken (against Lim), we still need to consult the AGC to decide on the next course of action," he added.