Wednesday, 4 July 2012

MACC should be free from political interference, says ex-ICAC commissioner

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should be allowed to get on with the job of implementing national anti-corruption strategies, without having to encounter any political interference.

Former Independent Commission Against Corruption of Hong Kong (ICAC) commissioner Bertrand de Speville said politicians from all divides must also have faith and confidence in the MACC to accomplish the task entrusted to them.

“Presenting the MACC 2011 Annual Report to parliamentarians is a step towards more accountability and transparency.

“However, this should not serve as an opportunity for politicians to start second-guessing the anti-corruption body in its investigations into any particular case, although they can question the report.

“When they start to second-guess the commission, they begin to undermine the independence and investigations autonomy of the anti-corruption body, and they will serve the country ill by doing that,” he said, during a visit to the MACC recently.

The article was posted on the MACC’s official blog here today.

Since stepping down in 1996 as the commissioner of ICAC Hong Kong, de Speville has advised governments and international organisations on various aspects of anti-corruption policy and practice.

From 1997-2003, he was adviser to the Council of Europe’s Multi-disciplinary Group on Corruption.

Praising the MACC for being accountable to representatives of the public, de Speville noted that it was essential for the commission to have friends in local communities.

“If you do not have public support, you cannot win the fight,” he said, besides stressing the need to equip the national anti-corruption body with sufficient funds and resources. — Bernama

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