Are there more corruption cases these days?



Are there more corruption cases these days?
By Zan Azlee

If you were to read the news, you wouldn’t go by a day without seeing how the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is doing its job by investigating and arresting a certain government official or politician who is allegedly corrupt.

The latest news is that of the report that the MACC has received regarding an Umno supreme council member who is allegedly involved in the misappropriation of funds amounting to RM2.7 million in a project for the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

The MACC has released a statement saying that they will investigate the report given by the police and call the individual involved for questioning and to assist with the investigation. They will also work together with the MCMC on the matter.

Also, two former Felda senior officers were charged in court yesterday for criminal breach of trust (CBT) and abetting involving RM48 million. These two allegedly committed the offence three years ago and both pleaded not guilty.

On Sunday, a Johor state executive councillor’s son was arrested by MACC along with his special officer, a lawyer, two businessmen and another individual. The state executive councillor himself has already taken indefinite leave.

They are being investigated allegedly for conspiring with several employees from the Johor Land Office and other government departments to lower the premium of land which had been approved for housing and residential areas as well as converting titles of premises.

There were 21 luxury vehicles seized, which included a Bentley, Range Rover and Harley Davidson, along with cash of different currencies worth RM500,000. The authorities also froze 45 bank accounts that had a total sum of RM15.5 million.

Last week, a general manager of a government agency was arrested by the MACC for allegedly giving 50 projects worth almost RM1 million to two companies that are owned by his wife. He is believed to have allegedly committed the crime in 2014 when he was a deputy general manager.

And don’t forget, the senior officer who works at Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) was caught last month for alleged abuse of power involving RM80,000 to pay for skin beauty treatment and a slimming programme. He charged it all on his corporate credit card.

The elephant in the room

We can see many other cases in the recent past. Some more high profile than others. Take for example the corruption case that surfaced in October last year involving the civil servants working for the Sabah Water Department.

A total of RM52 million in cash was found in their offices and houses, while another RM60 million was found in their bank accounts (which have been frozen now, of course). The money is apparently from kickbacks linked to RM3.3 billion worth of infrastructure projects in Borneo.

There is also the father and son case where the former secretary-general of the Rural and Regional Development Ministry and his son were charged for receiving RM627,808 in bribes. This is allegedly to help secure the contract for a power supply contract in Sarawak.

So, what do you say? Does this all convince you that the MACC is doing their job right? It should be, right? They have arrested and charged so many people already and this could be a record high. They must be doing something right.

Sure, these are legitimate corruption cases and it is good that we can trust the MACC to defend the integrity of the country. But, if they can investigate all of these cases, then how come they are letting go of a case that is currently being investigated around the world – in at least seven countries?

This case is so important that these countries have launched their own investigations and are probing it. Malaysia, on the other hand, has closed its books on this biggest corruption case happening right under our nose claiming that no wrongdoing took place.

[This article was originally written for and published at Malaysiakini.Com]

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