Sabah graft bust won’t do much if 1MDB not tackled, says Kit Siang

Lim lauded the latest arrests and said the MACC should be commended for its efforts.
Lim has lauded the latest arrests (of Sabah Water Department top officers) and said the MACC should be commended for its efforts.

from-web

Despite being hailed as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) biggest haul ever, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said it is unlikely to save Malaysia from continuing to slip down in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) score.

He warned that unless Malaysia bucks the downtrend and tackle the 1MDB issue, Malaysia would be overtaken by Indonesia and China within the decade.

The two countries, he noted, had been at the bottom of the CPI rankings since the global NGO Transparency International (TI) started compiling the index in 1995, but is rapidly rising through the rankings.

“What should concern all Malaysians and the MACC is that from these trends, Malaysia runs the risk of being overtaken by both Indonesia and China within a decade in the annual TI CPI both in ranking and score unless Malaysia quickly bucks up and show its seriousness on the anti-corruption front.

“MACC’s ‘biggest anti-corruption bust’ in Sabah is not enough to start the reversal of the trend of Malaysia being overtaken by other countries particularly in Asia unless the government is prepared to grapple with the problem of the 1MDB global scandal which had catapulted Malaysia into a ‘global kleptocracy’,” he said in a statement today.

The MACC had arrested a director and deputy director from a Sabah public utilities company on Wednesday on suspicion of graft.

As part of the operation, the commission also seized about RM114 million, including RM53 million in cash, nine luxury cars, branded watches, 127 land grants, and 94 handbags, among others.

Cash and jewelry that were seized from the two houses of the two Sabah Water Department officers last week. Why they kept these valuables and cash at their homes is anybody’s guess.
Cash and jewelry that were seized from the two houses of the two Sabah Water Department officers last week. Why they kept these valuables and cash at their homes is anybody’s guess.

Lim lauded the latest arrests and said the MACC should be commended for its efforts.

However, he also pointed out that Malaysians aren’t lauding this as MACC’s ‘coming of age’ as a fully independent and professional graftbuster.

“In fact, MACC’s Op Water had deepened public scepticism and cynicism about the battle against corruption in Malaysia, as Malaysians are convinced that if there is a full-fledged and no-holds-barred anti-corruption war in Malaysia, Op Water seizure would pale into insignificance in scale and magnitude with regard to the ill-gotten gains involved,” he said, referring to the 1MDB scandal.

Lim added that he agrees with former MACC advisory panel member Robert Phang’s urging to probe the higher-ups who may also be involved in the graft.

“It is difficult to believe that the duo had by themselves managed to amass the millions of ringgit seized from them,” he said.

The duo are said to have handled RM3.3 billion in basic infrastructure projects since 2010, according to The Star today.

  • This article was first published in malaysiakini.com