Guan Eng: MACC failing its duties foot-dragging over Pandora Papers

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The Pandora Papers is the latest in a string of cases involving pro-government figures which the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has dragged its feet on, Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng said.

The DAP secretary-general said MACC’s response to concerns raised over Malaysian personalities named in the Pandora Papers has been disappointing and a repeat of MACC’s failure to act on controversies involving pro-government leaders.

“The Pandora Papers may be the tip of the iceberg of illicit financial outflows into offshore accounts involving billions of ringgit and MACC should perform its statutory duty to act impartially, independently and professionally in a transparent manner.

TMI

“Instead of acting to rein in the offshore funding practices, the government and MACC appear frozen into inaction when pro-government personalities are involved,” Lim said in a statement today.

The contents of the Pandora Papers on offshore accounts held by leaders and the elite in various countries were revealed earlier last month, but only saw response from MACC and the police in the last few days.

MACC said it would cooperate with Bank Negara and other investigative agencies to probe the revelations made in the data dump, which has named Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, deputy finance minister Yamani Hafez Musa, Bagan Datuk MP and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Selayang MP William Leong and former finance minister Daim Zainuddin.

All have denied wrongdoing and said there is no law against holding offshore accounts.

Police said reports have been lodged about the papers and have taken statements from the complainants. Police are, however, referring the reports lodged to Bank Negara for investigation.

Lim said if MACC failed to carry out its duties professionally and responsibly, Malaysia’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) rankings will slip further.

He listed several other cases involving pro-government figures that MACC has failed to act on, adding that the Pandora papers was the latest case that showed the graft-buster’s bias.

One of the cases Lim cited is the audio leak of a voice resembling former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin stating that political posts and government-linked corporation positions should be offered to MPs in exchange for political support.

Others include Tebrau MP Steven Choong’s claim that Muhyiddin had promised him an official position; the unexplained source of funds that Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun used to settle a bankruptcy suit for debts amounting to RM1.3 million; and the spate of defections of Sabah assemblymen led by Musa Aman, which led to a state election, while Musa is now a Sabah state minister.

Lim also raised claims by former Sabah chief minister and Warisan president Shafie Apdal on dubious awards of forest reserve land by the previous state government under Yayasan Sabah, and other examples of recommendation or support letters for positions or contracts endorsed by ministers.

Lim also highlighted how the MACC’s investigation into Kuala Langat MP Dr Xavier Jayakumar “turned cold” after Xavier defected and supported Muhyiddin, as well as the lack of action on claims by five PKR MPs who said they were offered inducements and then intimidated to defect and support Muhyiddin, which they rejected. – TMI