The STAR online : Sunday May 9, 2010 @ 6:00:00 PM
400 Chinese apply to join MACC :
KUALA LUMPUR: Some 400 Chinese have applied to join the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as investigating officer and assistant investigating officer.
Several approached said they were thankful to the Government for the chance and pledged to serve well if selected, as the Chinese were not exposed and given much opportunity to join the public sector.
MACC’s said the recent losses in high profile cases has led to many calls for it to beef up its investigation methods and processes in order to avoid having corruption cases thrown out of court.
MACC had claim that they were terribly short-handed and additional manpower is needed to beef up their investigative efforts to ensure all corruption cases are handled swiftly.
One of the steps being taken by MACC efforts is to encourage non- Bumi to apply as investigating officers. This is good news and I hope with this move we will see improvement in all aspects of MACC investigation efforts.
However I am concerned that besides the need for additional manpower, the “EFFECTIVENESS” of MACC’s prosecution is also critically very important.
After the corruption case against the 2 “frogs” of Perak was thrown out, MACC chief commissioner Datuk Abu Kasim Mohamed’s expressed dismay that it has lost this and several cases in court. He said : “There seemed to be too many cases thrown out of the court due to lack of evidence. This cannot go on all the time. Perhaps there was a lapse somewhere between those preparing the case and those prosecuting.”
I am glad he was upfront about this acknowledging present MACC’s weaknesses. These are the issues which I feel MACC’s Datuk Abu Kassim should be addressing
Training : Assessing the caliber of these investigating officers officers and how well trained are them especially in understanding the law and the legal requirements to prosecute.
MACC and the AG’s office : MACC investigates and submit their reports to the Attorney-General Chambers who will prosecute. MACC must review their present communication and co-ordination efforts with the AG’s office . Transparent International Datuk Paul Low had recommended MACC should also look into the possibility of having its own power and authority to prosecute.
Bar Council chairman Ragunath Kesavan had commented that corruption cases are not easy to prove in court as the burden of proof is heavy as it must be beyond reasonable doubt. He said that MACC investigations were sometimes rushed and “in the eagerness, they were not being thorough enough. From our observation, some of the cases should not have even gone to court because there were some political elements behind them. But, due to pressure from the public, they immediately went to the court and filed charges. They are under pressure, so that’s the easiest thing to do.”
These are some of the high profile cases that were thrown out ( summary list from The Sun ) – most of them due to “Prosecution failed to establish prima facie case” – Prima facie translated to layman’s terms : based on first impression accepted as correct until proved otherwise