KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must be vested with prosecutorial powers, said a federal lawmaker after it revealed that its bid to charge a former chief minister met a dead-end at the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC).
Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh urged fellow lawmakers to consider amending the MACC Act to empower the agency to prosecute corruption independently of the attorney general (AG) and a constitutional amendment to remove the AG’s power to overrule such charges.
Citing the previous failure to charge former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, he said these showed a pressing need to enhance the MACC’s powers to pursue and prosecute the corrupt.
“In the circumstances, it is imperative that legislative reforms are introduced at once to the MACC Act, 2009 to give the MACC the power to institute prosecutions on its own without the need to obtain the consent of the public prosecutor which is the current position as mandated by section 58 of the MACC Act, 2009.
“Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution would also have to be amended with a two-thirds majority in Parliament to restrict the AG’s power to discontinue such prosecutions initiated by the MACC to avoid a situation where a prosecution by the MACC is discontinued by the AG at his absolute discretion,” he said in a statement.
The constitutional amendment would require the approval of two-thirds of Parliament as well as bipartisan support, but Ramkarpal said he saw no reason why the Opposition would block this.
The DAP National Legal Bureau chairman said he will propose the amendment in the Dewan Rakyat when it resumes next week.
Earlier this week, the MACC revealed that it had completed investigations on graft allegations against the former Sabah chief minister in 2012 and handed the investigation papers to the AGC.
It said the AG at the time, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, did not pursue this as the agency had a policy not to prosecute cases related to political donations.
Musa, who is still Sungai Sibuga assemblyman, was charged on November 5 with 35 counts of graft for receiving a total of US$63.3 million (RM263 million) in exchange for logging contracts that were issued between 2004 and 2008.