Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Azam Baki should be placed on temporary leave pending investigations over allegations of abuse of power and misappropriation of funds involving officers of the anti-graft body, Pakatan Harapan (PH) said.
Its presidential council in a statement also urged the government to consider the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s advice in forming a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to probe the matter.
“We welcome the statement from the home minister yesterday where the minister said an inquiry paper has been opened by the police.
“However, due to the seriousness of the case, we feel that an investigation paper must also be opened in order for a thorough inquiry to be done, so that those responsible can be brought to justice.
“At the same time, the MACC chief must be put on temporary leave until the probe is over and we feel that Putrajaya must allow an RCI to be formed as mentioned by the king, followed by efforts to reform the anti-graft agency,” said the council.
MACC had recently said it was investigating three of its senior officers over allegations of abuse of power and misappropriation of funds in a case against a former department head.
As part of its ongoing investigations, the three officers were remanded for six days from September 14-19.
Lawmakers and civil society groups, however, have questioned why the MACC was investigating its own officers when the alleged offence fell under the Penal Code and was under the jurisdiction of the police.
Prior to the MACC’s statement, a blogpost revealed that the anti-graft body had detained three officers in connection with the alleged counterfeiting of cash seized from former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation director-general Hasanah Abd Hamid three years ago.
In April, Hasanah was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) by the high court in a criminal breach of trust case involving RM50.4 million in government funds after the prosecution withdrew its case against her, telling the court that a new development had been uncovered.
Previously, the former spy chief pleaded not guilty to criminal breach of trust involving US$12.1 million belonging to the Malaysian government at the Sessions Court on October 25, 2018.
She was alleged to have committed the offence in her capacity as a civil servant at the office of the director-general of the research division of the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya between April 30 and May 9 that year. – TMI