KUALA LUMPUR (July 2): DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang said Malaysia will continue in the corruption slide unless the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) sets an example of accountability and transparency starting with MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki.
In a statement on Saturday (July 2), the MP for Iskandar Puteri noted that recently, political economist Prof Dr Edmund Terence Gomez said it is time for the MACC to have an “arm’s length” relationship with the executive branch of the government, especially with regard to the appointment of the anti-graft agency’s top commissioner.
He said this follows the incident where several prominent politicians were implicated recently when a witness in a graft case in court testified on the Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) ledger during the corruption trial of UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Lim said although Gomez’s proposal is apt and appropriate, it is quite far-fetched when Azam is answerable to no one, not even the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Agencies in the Prime Minister’s Department.
The DAP elder said Azam was supposed to appear before the PSC on Agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department in January this year to explain his alleged shareholdings but the PSC meeting was postponed at the last minute because Azam had written a letter objecting to the meeting.
Lim noted that PSC chairman Abdul Latiff Abdul Rahman (PAS – Kuala Krai) said the PSC was seeking advice from its legal adviser.
“Six months have passed and Malaysians are entitled to ask what has happened to [the] Azam-gate affair.
“Parliament is meeting later this month.
“Will a full explanation be given to Parliament as to what has happened, and whether Parliament is helpless in a situation where the MACC chief commissioner is not even answerable to Parliament?” Lim said.