PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed (pix) is stepping down as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner on Aug 1 – two years before his contract ends on Dec 4, 2018. Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has consented to the application by Abu Kassim, 55, to step down from the post by serving a one-month notice. However, Ali, in a statement, said Abu Kassim would continue to serve as an anti-corruption service officer until his mandatory retirement on Dec 6, 2020. He was appointed MACC chief commissioner on Jan 1, 2010 and his contract was renewed for a further three years in 2015. "The government expresses its gratitude to Tan Sri Abu Kassim who has served the country well in his capacity as the MACC chief commissioner," Ali said. He added that with Abu Kassim at the helm, the MACC had discharged its duties with excellence, in line with its vision to create a Malaysian society free of corruption and based on spiritual values and high morals. Meanwhile, sources revealed that Abu Kassim is not the only top brass who will be exiting the commission in the months to come. News has it that his deputy, Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull, who is MACC's deputy chief commissioner of operations, and MACC special operations division director Datuk Bahrin Mohd Zin are also expected to step down days before Abu Kassim does so on Aug 1. It is unknown when the announcements on the resignations of Mohd Shukri and Bahrin will be made. At a press conference later, Abu Kassim said there was no pressure from any quarters for him to quit and that it was his third application to end the contract earlier than stipulated. "It was my request. I have said in previous statements that I will not withdraw under pressure. I have stated this many times. "The application was my request, especially that now I have the chance to serve at the international level, which will promote Malaysia and the MACC to a higher level. "This is a golden opportunity for me and the country. I cannot just reject it," he said. Abu Kassim said he had since accepted an offer from the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) in Austria that comes under the auspices of the United Nations. He said he would also serve as a lecturer, researcher and consultant at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM). The MACC said prior to this, Abu Kassim had made the same application but the government had asked him to continue his service. "There was no pressure from any quarters for Abu Kassim to leave. He made this third application to quit after receiving an offer to be a guest expert at the world's first graft prevention university," the MACC added. It said his appointment in the IACA in Austria is an international acknowledgement of the government's commitment to and leadership in curbing corruption. Abu Kassim thanked the government for approving his application to enable him to serve in the international anti-graft academy.