Should corruption be treated as an internal problem? DAP MP asks MACC amid police ‘cartel’ claim

Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo speaks to reporters at the Kuala Lumpur High Court September 9, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo speaks to reporters at the Kuala Lumpur High Court September 9, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) cannot dismiss a claim of an insidious “cartel” seeking to control the police force as a problem to be dealt with internally because it is a “question of law”, DAP’s Gobind Singh Deo asserted today.

The Puchong MP, who is also a lawyer, was responding to MACC chief Datuk Seri Azam Baki’s remarks that he did not plan to interfere with the police’s internal investigation about the “cartel” whom Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador previously claimed to be behind a bid to oust him from the force.

Gobind pointed out that the MACC Act 2009 made it a law for the commission to look into complaints about gratification whether it happened in the public or private sector.

“The IGP did not speak of a cartel alone but also about corruption. Is that an internal matter too, which the MACC thinks can be solved internally?” he asked.

“If so, why have others been dealt with differently, probed by the MACC and then charged in court?

“Shouldn’t they too be dealt with internally?” he asked again.

He said that if the MACC chief believed so, then the commission can wash its hands off all corruption allegations as they could be managed with just an internal inquiry by the government agencies or private companies concerned.

Gobind suggested Azam consult the Attorney General for legal advice on what to do about the police cartel claim as the issue is of public importance.

“A crucial aspect of any investigation is to make sure that there is impartiality on part of those who conduct it. This is to ensure fairness to all parties in the investigation.

“Those investigating should have no interest in the matter or be connected in any way to those who will be probed in the investigation. So how can an internal probe be sufficient in this case when the case involves the police themselves? This is where the MACC comes in,” he said.

He added: “If we really want to clean up the police force and strengthen it by dealing with problems like these, then let us start on the right footing in the right direction”.

Abdul Hamid dropped a bombshell in an interview with Sinar Harian published on March 18 claiming there was a group of younger officers who were conspiring for his removal.

He has since said the issue is under control and is being handled by the police’s Integrity and Standard Compliance Department and that there is no need for a third party to investigate, whether it is the MACC or a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

The MACC also expressed confidence in the police's ability to deal with the problem.

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