Why is the MACC chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad being hypersensitive to the proposal by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Paul Low for a new Department of National Integrity and Good Governance (JITN) intended to ensure that MACC properly investigates corruption cases and charges perpetrators effectively?

Is it for the MACC to tell off the government of the day that it has no business to monitor the MACC or to audit its performance and integrity? Haven’t MACC officers themselves been arrested for corrupt practices?

It is extremely rude and uncultured of Dzulkifli to lash out at the minister by saying “Who is this minister? Who is the minister to control how we investigate cases? We are supposed to be independent. If the excuse of forming the JITN is to monitor MACC, why should I report to him?”.

What does he mean by “independent”? Who pays his salary and that of all in the MACC?

Dzulkifli is a public servant, no matter that the MACC is supposed to be “independent”. And being “independent” does not mean having absolute powers to do or not to do what it likes or dislikes.

The cabinet is said to have approved setting up the JITN on July 28 in line with the Government Transformation Programme for the institutionalisation of compliance initiatives in the fields of governance, integrity and human rights.

So the MACC chief is actually hitting out at the cabinet itself for the proposal. Is the cabinet going to buckle under his onslaught as happened to the proposal to set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (“IPCMC”) which was proposed by a Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police in its report in 2005?

In fact, a bill titled “Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill 2005” had already been drafted. But due to the vehement protests of the police, it was shelved.

How can a government that has decided that the goings on in a law-enforcement agency need to be independently looked into (the IPCMC was proposed due to numerous “sudden deaths” in police custody) buckle under protests from that very same agency? What sort of governance is this, giving face to the enforcement agency concerned?

Credit: Ravinder Singh

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