KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is now monitoring photographs of civil servants and their families posted on Facebook and Instagram to ensure their lifestyles match their earnings.
According to a report by The Star newspaper, posts of foreign holidays and those of expensive, luxury items will lead to further scrutiny to determine if the posters were involved in corrupt practices.
The MACC source declined to comment, however, when asked if such monitoring has led to any prosecutions.
“We do look into it. We can consider them as initial information to carry out further checks. If it warrants an investigation, then we will probe.
“We cannot check all postings, but mostly the public does send them to us and it is taken as a first information,” the person was quoted as saying.
In the news report, MACC deputy chief commissioner for operations Datuk Azam Baki also confirmed that his men monitored postings by civil servants who depicted a lavish lifestyle.
“We also rely on our public tip offs and our own intelligence gathering to investigate such cases,” he was quoted as saying.
Saying there was nothing inherently wrong with civil servants owning luxury items, Azam noted, however, that suspicions may be aroused when an individual appeared to own an excess.
“Having one too many Hermes, Chanel or Louis Vuitton bags will raise eyebrows and suspicion as to the source of their wealth.
“If civil servants or their family members are having more than a dozen and flaunt them around, then we would like to know where they got the money to buy those bags,” he was quoted as saying.
On Wednesday, the MACC detained a 59-year-old secretary-general of a ministry after seizing cash and gold bars valued at about RM3 million from the civil servant’s home in USJ, Subang Jaya.
Yesterday, the MACC again seized more cash and gold bars from the “Datuk”, bringing the total amount seized to more than RM5 million.
According to national newswire Bernama, a MACC source was reported as saying that the latest seizure was made after its investigation team opened several gold deposit boxes at a bank and confiscated 8kg of gold bars estimated at RM1.6 million.
In addition, the source said MACC also seized the Toyota Estima belonging to one of the suspect’s son at his house in USJ, Subang Jaya, today.
The source said the suspects were also believed to own more than 10 plots of land around the Klang Valley under the names of family members, but the MACC team was still seeking to confirm this and evaluating the value of the land.
Similar to this case, the MACC last October seized RM3.64 million in cash and RM500,000 worth of designer handbags from two senior Sabah Water Department officials.