PUTRAJAYA, Sept 4 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) acts without fear or favour as it would not hesitate to call in high-profile or influential figures in graft probes, minister Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said today.
Wahid said he was this week called in to the MACC office as a witness over some past transactions when he was in the private sector.
“There is no fear or favour on the part of MACC to call anybody, whether you are a high profile figure or Cabinet minister to extract the truth from that person,” the former corporate figure said in an off-the-cuff speech at the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference here.
Wahid said he had in the past been called in to assist with investigations on alleged corruption by those he had dealt with.
“And I’ve been called to have my statements recorded by MACC. There was a time I was CEO of Telekom Malaysia, they had no qualms about calling a CEO,” the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said.
“That’s a clear demonstration to me of an agency who is doing their job without fear or favour. What we would like to encourage MACC to do would be to continue to do that and to continue to enforce the law fairly and consistently,” Wahid said today as he praised the commission.
During the three-day conference that ended today, the controversy revolving around the RM2.6 billion amount deposited into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s private accounts popped up regularly during sessions.
The MACC is still probing the RM2.6 billion donation which it confirmed came from a Middle Eastern source, but its deputy commissioner Datuk Mustafar Ali declined yesterday to provide details of the ongoing probe, including whether Najib had been called in to explain the sum.
In the face of pressure for answers on the RM2.6 billion controversy and with Malaysia described as facing a “corruption crisis”, Mustafar had said the label was untrue.
Today, Wahid trotted out Malaysia’s achievements including its low poverty rate, arguing that a country would not be able to have inclusive and sustainable progress if corruption is entrenched in its system.
“But the point is it is not endemic, we recognise there is a problem and we know this is a problem that must be tackled,” he said, noting that this does not mean that there is no corruption here.
He said Putrajaya has done much to combat corruption and had strengthened the role and functions of the-then Anti-Corruption Agency by turning it into the MACC.