Rais Yatim confirms Pandora Papers raised in maiden meeting of Parliament’s special corruption committee

Special Committee on Corruption chairman Tan Sri Rais Yatim at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya, September 3, 2021. — Bernama pic
Special Committee on Corruption chairman Tan Sri Rais Yatim at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya, September 3, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — Parliament’s Special Committee on Corruption (JKMR) discussed the recent Pandora Papers exposé at its first meeting today, its chairman Tan Sri Rais Yatim said.

However, he said a decision has yet to be made on whether the exposé should be scrutinised by Dewan Negara's Select Committee on Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption.

Rais said that the committee noted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob's stand on anti-corruption measures when he tabled the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), as a guidance in driving JKMR forward, with powers granted to the committee under Section 14 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 (Act 694).

"In addition, today's meeting also discussed matters related to the Pandora Papers that have been raised recently. An examination will be made on whether the Select Committee on Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption of the Senate should consider and scrutinise it on the validity of the expose prior, as well as the rights of the people to know the relevant aspects of the matter," he said in a statement.

On October 3, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released the Pandora Papers, a hoard of data — reportedly involving some 11.9 million documents and 2.9 terabytes of data — used to expose supposedly corrupt dealings of the global elite.

Prominent Malaysians were also named in the document leak, including Tun Daim Zainuddin.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had thrice called for the expose to be discussed in the Dewan Rakyat, only to have his emergency motions on the issue rejected, on technical grounds.

Rais, who also heads the senate, said that JKMR is also concerned about the handling of case items and other processes under the MACC, and called for more transparency and prevention of abuse of internal power. He also urged the authorities to expedite legal actions involving cases of loss of case items worth US$6 million (RM25 million).

"As a result, JKMR also views the MACC's image seriously in several recent cases, including several high-profile cases withdrawn by the Attorney General's Chambers. Detailed scrutiny on the issue, which includes investigations and prosecutions, are being undertaken with relevant parties," he added.

The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has recently asked for further investigation into the alleged theft of case materials reportedly worth US$6.94 million said to involve three anti-graft officers.

The AGC confirmed it has sent back the investigation paper it received from the MACC on September 28 to investigators for further action as it believes there may be other offences committed.

On September 20, the MACC confirmed that three of its senior officers had been detained to assist investigations into allegations of abuse of power and misconduct in the case of a former head of department of the commission.

The RM25 million involved was previously seized from former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation director-general Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid who in 2018 was charged with criminal breach of trust involving US$12.1 million.

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