17 Feb Improve anti-graft laws, not use Official Secrets Act against whistleblowers, group tells A-G
NOW director Akmal Nasir says Attorney-General (A-G) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali must improve the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 if he takes the government’s integrity seriously.
An anti-graft whistleblower group has urged Attorney-General (A-G) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali to strengthen the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 instead of plans to use the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA) against informants of corruption cases.
Akmal Nasir, the director of National Oversight and Whistleblowers (NOW) said Apandi should improve the MACC Act if he took the government’s integrity seriously.
“If the A-G is sensitive to the question of integrity in government, he should revise proposals (made) and efforts to improve the MACC Act.
“Even though improvements have been proposed several times by the MACC, it has not seen any result,” Akmal said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur this morning.
He said NOW was suggesting that the MACC Act should accept as evidence findings that showed a suspect was living beyond his or her means.
By accepting “living beyond means” as evidence, the law would make it easier for investigators to spot elements of graft, since existing laws were insufficient, Akmal added.
NOW’s call follows Apandi’s recent proposal to amend the OSA by adding life imprisonment and 10 lashes as penalty for the disclose of government secrets.
“Under Section 36 of the MACC Act, the commission only has the power to order that a suspect be given a ‘notice’ to assist investigators,” Akmal said.
“If someone fails to explain how their assets and wealth were obtained, ‘living beyond their mean’’ will be enough to be evidence of bribery and misappropriation.”
Akmal also questioned why no decisive action had been taken against those who are engaged with misconduct, corruption and leakages, whereas whistleblowers faced threats and pressure from the authorities. – February 17, 2016.