Anwar: MACC pushed ball to AG’s court over dropped graft cases

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PKR president Anwar Ibrahim said the MACC pushed the ball to the attorney-general’s court when asked why some graft cases were dropped.

The opposition leader said the MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki told him that decisions to drop cases were the Attorney-General’s Chamber’s prerogative.

Anwar said this was after he questioned incidents where some MPs were charged, but others escaped prosecution, including during the Pakatan Harapan era.

“I told him that even though it was during Harapan’s time (in power), there were cases where some MPs who were said to have received money from 1MDB… And there were several MPs and former MPs from Umno who got charged (over such cases).

“However, there were those who also took the money, but they crossed over to join Bersatu, and were released.

“So, I said that these (cases) should not be protected. It is public knowledge. Same case, same facts, but those who stayed as the opposition (then) were charged in court, but those who ‘lompat’ (defected) were let off.

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“And the MACC explained to me that they were not involved in letting anyone go. This, they said, was the discretion of the AGC, or the attorney-general at that time,” he said.

Anwar spoke to reporters outside MACC headquarters in Putrajaya earlier today after meeting Azam for about an hour.

“So, the AG then, and today, must answer,” he added.

Anwar also said the MACC will not be able to rein in corruption in Malaysia if those with power are above prosecution.

He said if high-level officials are getting off scot-free while selective prosecution continues against Opposition MPs, then the government agency will have a poor public image.

He revealed to the media that he was told by a former minister that he would be free from prosecution too if he ‘jumped ship’ to the current government.

Anwar said he told Azam that if this is the case, the public will view the MACC as being in cahoots with the government.

“If the sharks are allowed to swim freely while the small fish are prosecuted, the MACC will lose the trust of the public.”

Anwar also revealed that the MACC is still investigating a former minister, whose associate was arrested for alleged corruption, and has given its assurance that the case will not be closed if he is truly found to have been involved.

“In this case, I had pointed out the need for MACC to investigate cases independently and transparently.

“The chief commissioner gave his assurance that no case will be closed if investigation shows that corruption really happened,” he said to reporters.

Although Anwar did not mention any names, he is believed to be implying the case of Kuala Langat MP Dr Xavier Jayakumar, who before quitting PKR on March 12, was being investigated by the agency.

It was reported that on Feb 24, Azam had confirmed that the anti-graft agency was investigating Dr Jayakumar, following the arrest of his close associate MA Tinagaran a week before.

It was alleged that Jayakumar was apparently contacted later by a senior (Perikatan Nasional) minister who told that he needed to support Perikatan or face serious repercussions.