Provisions in the law are stopping the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) from proceeding with its investigations into alleged corruption involving a "wealthy leader of a state", PAS Kubang Kerian MP Salahuddin Ayub said today.

NONEThe member of the parliamentary special committee (PSC) on corruption said the MACC stated this at a briefing it held for the committee last week.

"We were told at the meeting that investigations against a state leader (ketua negeri), a person well known for having a lot of wealth, could not proceed due to shoddy laws and despite six investigations papers having been opened.

"So the MACC has suggested that (the committee) bring this matter up in Parliament so that a law reform commission can be formed," Salahuddin (above) told reporters in the Parliament lobby today.

MACC not able to obtain corroboration

Refusing to name the state leader, he said, the case involving the wealthy person could not move forward as the MACC was not able to obtain "corroboration" on confessions so that these could be admissible in court.

"Bribery does not take place on the roadside. People don't advertise it when they do so. It is done one-to-one (between individuals)," Salahuddin said.

azlanThe MACC has stated that it is investigating prominent political figures for corruption, including Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud (left).

The MP said the amendments should involve Sections 23 and 50 of the MACC Act 2009.

Salahuddin added that under present law, a menteri besar could excuse himself from an executive council (exco) meeting if it involved a project benefiting his family members or associates.

"(The MB) is then absolved (of corruption) but will the exco members dare to reject the project? This is a case that has been put forward before," he said, explaining why 'big fish' have slipped through the MACC net.

Besides this, the PSC, which was appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to advise the prime minister on anti-corruption measures, had in its 2010 and 2011 reports called for prosecutorial powers for the MACC.

He said the law reform commission, which he proposed in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, could review the Land Act to curb unnecessary state appropriation of private land and water sale agreement between Johor and Singapore.

'Why not use state land for Rapid?'

umno supreme council special meeting 260809 azalina othman"More and more cases have emerged where the rakyat's land have been grabbed ruthlessly for the sake of development," he said.

One example of this, he said, was in Pengerang, Johor, where residents of 10 traditional villages will lose their land due to the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project.

Refuting the claim of Pengerang MP Azalina Othman (right), Salahuddin said the situation could be avoided if the project was built on seafront state land in Pengerang, which is also on the shipping route.

Answering Azalina further, he said although there were many from outside Pengerang who had attended the rally against the project last month, many locals too were against it.

pengerang himpunan hijau 300912 supporter 03He also admitted that no report was lodged on the damage to his car, purportedly through an act of sabotage during the anti-Rapid rally on Sept 30, claiming that it was inconvenient at the time.

"No report was lodged as it was raining at the time and I had another programme to attend," he said, adding that he would not lodge any report on the matter.

He also insisted that he would only debate with Johor MB Abdul Ghani Othman on the issue, and not with Azalina, since only the MB has a say on land matters.