Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Mum is the word from MACC

The MACC chief prefers to remain silent on investigations into the Scorpene submarine deal and Anwar's alleged RM3 billion stashed in master accounts.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Abu Kassim Mohamed today refused to give any answers in regard to the recently rekindled issues of the Scorpene submarine deal and Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s RM3 billion allegedly stashed in master accounts.

“No comment”, Abu Kassim said when asked about the Anwar case during the handing-over of MACC 2011 annual report to the Special Parliamentary Committee on Corruption this morning at the lobby of the Dewan Rakyat.

He said MACC will only investigate if there is “significant evidence to justify it… [then] we will reopen the case”.

When pressed further, he added: “We never said we are going to call anybody. There were never detailed statements on the investigations.”

He said he would leave questions in regard to the investigations to his deputy, Mohd Shukri Abdull.
The 13-year-old accusation that Anwar amassed RM3 billion in 20 master accounts surfaced after Ummi Hafilda Ali, the sister of PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, recently spoke about the then Anti-Corruption Agency’s probe into a statutory declaration (SD) that former Bank Negara Malaysia assistant governor Abdul Murad Khalid made on May 30, 1999.

In the SD, Murad claimed that Anwar had amassed RM3 billion during his tenure as deputy prime minister and finance minister.

He also alleged that Anwar’s cronies had set up “master accounts” from which financial contributions could be made for Anwar’s interests.

It was reported that Murad subsequently retracted the SD. The MACC has also reportedly reopened investigations on the matter based on “new evidence”.

‘What’s there to fear?’

Last week, MACC confirmed in news reports that it had reopened investigations into Anwar’s alleged secret accounts. Quoting sources, the paper said the re-opening of the files was based on new evidence reportedly coming from Ummi Hafilda.

Meanwhile, Abu Kassim also declined to say anything when asked whether there are any investigations into the controversial Scorpene submarine case.

Suaram has successfully sought for a judicial inquiry at the Tribunal De Grande Instance in Paris to probe alleged illegal bribes involving top officials from both Malaysia and France in the submarine deal.
Suaram claims that DCNS had paid 114 million euros to Perimekar Sdn Bhd as bribes.

In an immediate reaction, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said MACC’s answers on Scorpene raises question as to whether it was selective and “genuine in combating corruption”.

“As an agency in charge of corruption, you should investigate without fear or favour, regardless of the person involved. If there is no hanky-panky, what is there to fear?” asked Lim, the Penang Chief Minister.

“In that respect, the one running and hiding should be the one under investigation. But in this case, the shoe is on the other foot; the investigative body is running and hiding. This is another example of Malaysia Boleh spirit.”

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