JANUARY 10 — Since Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad took over the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) helm in July last year, a series of high profile cases have emerged.
A cursory look will confirm that it is implausible that investigations only commenced during Dzulkifli’s tenure. For all we know these cases could have investigations that stretched back five years or more.
I am not sure if the total sum involved has exceeded one billion ringgit in cash, jewellery and properties but media reports confirmed that over a hundred million ringgit worth have been found in the alleged perpetrators’ possession or have been recovered.
Most newspapers front-paged last Thursday the arrest by MACC of the Rural and Regional Development Ministry secretary-general Datuk Mohd Arif Ab Rahman and his 29-year-old son. It was reported that his two sons could be his most trusted bagmen.
As a parent of grown children, I acknowledge that if our children can’t be our most trusted, then who else can? But how does a parent begin to discuss criminal activities with one’s children as accomplices? How does it sit in when the family attends the house of prayer together?
This is especially so when the household is not a band of robbers in the classical sense. To cap it all, with the head actually being a top civil servant.
The Sabah Water Department and the City Hall arrests are also cases where family members seemed nonchalant. Why? This is because the protagonists were spilling with money and possessed expensive cars, watches and handbags as if they jumped out of catalogues. Did spouses or siblings actually think their heroes were paid like international bank chief executive officers?
I was reminded that Arif already had issues with impropriety over the pest control contracting monopoly when he was the Subang Jaya council president some years back. He was subsequently promoted as state financial officer of Selangor, which is the number two post after the state secretary.
I contend that the major arrests over the last half-year had little to do with improved investigation prowess but rests absolutely with the mettle of the new chief commissioner. Whatever patronage he has, he’s earning it.
Some civil society members felt that the Public Service Premier Post (Jusa) grade civil servants are still not “big fish” enough and expect politicians to be netted too. Well, I would like to remind them that political masters only succeed with the collusion of civil servants. With the ready noose MACC has displayed I think bureaucrats will avoid being collateral damage.
The ideal situation would be for MACC to eventually report to Parliament but until then I urge Dzulkifli and team to be continuous newsmakers.
The nation needs you.
* Datuk Lee Yew Meng is CEO of Genovasi Malaysia.
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.