Saifuddin: MACC’s Admission of Mistake Did Not Alter Facts in Their Letter

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MACC admits error in sending letter to PKR.

MACC’s mistake in sending its investigation recommendation on two PKR members to the party did not change the facts of their case, said PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution.

He said the press statement by MACC deputy chief commissioner Azam Baki today also confirmed that there was indeed a letter sent by the anti-graft body to PKR disciplinary committee.

“The mistake on MACC part did not change the facts of the case. Firstly, there was a report lodged, and secondly, MACC had carried out investigation, and in its letter, MACC gave detailed information on their probe.

“MACC said they have met with those who complained, and also witnesses, and that in their view the persons (subject in the probe) had committed an offence.

“So, the mistake was only procedural. I believe we should leave it at that. As a reform party which had been very sensitive on issues of power abuse and corruption, if we remain silent when an anti-corruption body sent a suggestion to our disciplinary committee to take action on those involved, then it means we condone such acts.

“Only by taking action that we walk the talk. That is far more important than procedural mistake,” Saifuddin told Malaysiakini when contacted.

He was responding to a statement by MACC earlier today, admitting that they had sent the letter to PKR by mistake as such report is only meant for government agencies and ministries and not for political parties.

Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini

PKR disciplinary committee had based on the letter, which suggested that action be taken against Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian’s former political secretary Zakaria Abd Hamid and Pahang PKR member Ismail Dulhadi, to boot out the duo recently.

Saifuddin also regarded the letter sent by mistake to them as a blessing in disguise, as it made them privy to the details of the investigation.

These include the names of those allegedly involved in the case, promises of project worth hundreds of thousand ringgit, and admission by a local council officer that he was pressured into awarding the project to some people.

Saifuddin said he, however, could not divulge further information as the letter had been classified as confidential.

He also made a suggestion that MACC should review its procedures and consider furnishing such findings to political party leaders when they investigate suspected offenders who got their position in the government through political platform.

Meanwhile, on complaints that PKR disciplinary committee had taken action against Zakaria and Ismail without calling them to defend themselves, Saifuddin said there are some cases where the party does not have to follow due process.

These include cases where PKR members contest in an election against candidate chosen by the party, members who are declared bankrupt, and those convicted in court.

In Zakaria and Ismail case, he stated, the party chose to adopt the findings of MACC as the government agency had much better resources and experience in investigating corruption cases compared to their disciplinary committee.

To initiate due process would mean the party having to repeat all the steps that MACC had taken in their probe, of which some PKR does not have the capability.

“This is a new situation. So, we took into consideration the level of expertise our disciplinary committee has. This is not a normal disciplinary case, this involves the district council, government contracts, and the MACC has far better reach.

“So, that is the context (why we made the decision to adopt MACC findings).”

Saifuddin also responded to the allegation that the committee had practised double standard in their action against Zakaria and Ismail, where PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin said that the party should also take action against other members who violated the country’s laws.

He said the case of Zakaria and Ismail is different than the others as PKR was never privy to investigation findings before this.

“Of course, in 20 years of this party, we have had all sorts of police reports lodged. This is true, but we had never been privy to that (investigation findings).

“That is why it had always been the party’s stand that whenever there is a report lodged with the authorities, we leave it to the police or MACC to investigate and take action according to the law.

“This is the party’s stand, and Zuraida knows this. So, she should not bundle them together, and claim that only in Zakaria’s case that we fire him but the others who were investigated by MACC, we did not do anything.

“The other investigations were never made privy to us. MACC had never written to us before this,” he said. – Malaysiakini