MACC must have concrete evidence to prosecute 'big sharks': Analyst

KUALA LUMPUR: "You just wait." Those are the stern words of warning uttered by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad to any politicians involved in corruption in the country.

Commenting on that stern warning, Universiti Malaya associate professor in socio-cultural studies, Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi said this showed that the agency was firm and would not be deterred by the politicians' party ideology, ranks and positions.

However, he said to ensure that the politicians or the 'big sharks' involved would not escape, MACC must have strong evidence as the law deals with facts and not mere perception.

"Prosecuting is something complex. A simple technical mistake can affect the case. With every arrest and conviction, the issue of small fries and big sharks will arise.

"Whatever the case, you need to have concrete evidence," he told Bernama when contacted here today.

Awang Azman said in their continuous commitment to fight corruption, which is currently considered to be the nation's number one enemy after drugs, MACC should also convince the people that whenever arrests were made, the accused would be prosecuted and successfully convicted in court.

"It must not be perceived that MACC is merely making these arrests because the general election (GE) is nearing.

"What the people really want to see is how serious is the agency in making the arrest and taking those arrested to court," he said while adding those offering bribes to civil servants should also be charged.

If no one offers a bribe, corruption will not happen. So, it is not right to blame the receiver alone," he said.

In Op Caviar on Jan 24, five including two former Felda senior officers, were detained and then remanded for investigation into alleged misappropriation in connection with a sturgeon fish rearing project worth RM47.6 million.

Earlier this month, the MACC had also seized cash and gold bars worth RM3 million following the arrest of a secretary-general of a ministry for alleged involvement in corruption.

In an interview over Astro Awani news channel yesterday, Dzulkifli said MACC could not reveal who would be arrested or when the arrests would be made, but insisted that there would be no escape for those involved in corruption.

He said the MACC would take action against the perpetrators, regardless of their rank and position - whether they are politicians, businessmen or government-linked company (GLC) officers or public servants. — Bernama