Friday, June 25, 2010

MACC report against Taib’s RM3 bil empire ‘retracted’

A complaint lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud for alleged misappropriation of state funds was retracted today when the commission refused to provide a copy of the report to the complainants.

According to complainant Ahmad Nazib Johari, a lawyer, this is not normal practice and slammed the MACC for failing to justify its decision.

“First the officers cited the MACC Act, then the Official Secrets Act and then the Criminal Procedure Code, but when we asked them to show the provisions of the law which state this, they refused, saying that it was their standard procedure,” he told reporters after spending about three hours attempting to file the complaint.

He added that the officers at the commission’s Selangor headquarters in Shah Alam also claimed that they had to exercise extra care as the case involved a high-profile individual.

Ahmad Nazib, a Sarawakian based in Selangor, along with two other Sarawakians – James Wong and Ting Chek Ming – had tried to jointly lodge the complaint with Selangor MACC deputy director Yip Pit Wong.

Yip was unavailable for comment when contacted.

“The report was written in (MACC’s) book, and we wanted a copy to protect ourselves and to make sure that nothing was added to or removed from it,” Ahmad Nazib said.

He added that they will try again soon but will come with two copies of a typed report which will require the attending MACC officer to acknowledge receipt.

“We were very inexperienced so now we know what to do. We’ll likely try to lodge our complaint at the Putrajaya office instead,” Ting said.

No action taken
According to Wong, their complaint was based on article published by an anonymous blog,, which featured Taib Mahmud’s property empire in Canada worth up to RM3 billion.

The allegations also implicated Taib’s children and siblings, who were said to have a slice of the large empire each.

Asked about the credibility of the allegations, he said: “The articles have been available online for a while and if they were wrong, Taib would have taken legal action.”

Ahmad Nazib added that their responsibility was only to lodge a complaint and for MACC to investigate its credibility, pointing out that they were not representing any political party.

“We know of complaints made to Sarawak MACC which are not investigated so we are taking the opportunity of lodging one in the peninsula where we are now based, hoping for a better outcome,” he said.

He added that the trio are aware of the identities of the “concerned citizens” behind the Sarawak Report blog, but “cannot disclose them yet”.

In a statement later, MACC explained that Section 29(4) of the MACC Act 2009 bars the commission from providing copies of reports lodged.

Under this Act, a report shall be “kept secret and shall not be disclosed by any person to any person other than officers of the commission and the public prosecutor, until an accused person has been charged in court for an offence under this Act or any other written law in consequence of such report, unless the disclosure is made with the consent of the public prosecutor or an officer of the commission of the rank of commissioner and above.”

“This is normal procedure provided by the law, which should be obeyed. Refusal to give cooperation will disrupt and affect the investigation process of the case,” the statement read.


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