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Should Azam Baki remain as MACC’s head honcho?

Publish date: Fri, 23 Feb 2024, 01:44 PM

IT IS time for Malaysians at large to review their idealism as they are likely to give up hope and be influenced easily by well-paid social influencers.

There is no doubt about this universal law which governs the world: “Whatever a man sows, that he shall also reap.”

Unless we do not believe there is payback time for corruption but Hindus believe in karma, Buddhists believe in reincarnation while both Muslims and Christians believe in facing the judgement seat of God.

Therefore, whatever the expectations of the outcome from five years of the unity government maybe, Malaysians have to be realistic.

Realistic call for reforms

The late Muhammad Ali Jinnah who founded Pakistan once said: “Let those men who still have these misguided ideas, let those men who still have these hallucinations, realise that by anarchism, by dastardly crimes, they cannot bring about good government; let them realise that these methods have not succeeded in any country of the world and are not likely to succeed in India.”

Since corruption is a systemic problem - for the sake of this nation - we have to take on a realistic view of what is good for the nation by being part of the push for reform.

Despite people hoping to see a reformist government, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s (PMX) unity government is far from being perfect. There is, in fact, no perfect government except in utopia.

PMX has his own flaws as well - and he comes with his own baggage from the past - but we at least see him fighting corruption and pushing for reforms that he had promised.

A monitoring of the news shows that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is now riding high on the wave of the PMX - and the current Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s (YDPA) - anti-corruption drive.

This can only happen when the people are backing the unity government.

While it is understandable that many Malaysians want allegations against the MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki to be investigated, the fact is that Azam’s efforts to bring a few big fish to court is noteworthy.

This is despite it was not PMX but his predecessor Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who appointed Azam as the graft buster agency’s head honcho and ironically it is the Bersatu president’s own son-in-law Datuk Seri Muhammad Adlan Berhan who is facing corruption charges.

At the same time, former twice premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s own sons are now being investigated while his close associate Tun Daim Zainuddin is now facing numerous charges.

For the uninitiated, Azam was accused of having purchased millions of shares in a company back in 2015 which his brother later claimed that the shares belonged to him and he was merely using Azam’s account to purchase the shares.

Maybe and we won’t know

We are not privy to what could have transpired between the people in the corridors of power but what we see may be the result thereof.

Even in jurisprudence, a criminal can be recruited to become a prosecution witness against their associate(s) or accomplice(s) - often in exchange for leniency in sentencing or immunity from prosecution.

While one may argue that the means cannot justify the end results, a criminal can only become a prosecution witness after confessing guilt.

The truth is that this could never happen until PMX has consolidated his position and both YDPAs have given their commitment that they would not entertain another Sheraton, London or Dubai Move before the next general election.

Without political stability and solid backing of the people, even PMX cannot move forward with both his anti-corruption drive and reforms. That is why his nemeses are trying to destabilise the unity government and eventually removing PMX the way they did to the late Tunku Abdul Rahman.

In the past, Malaysians have always complained why only the small fries are caught but the big fishes are let off. Now, we have the big fishes and no longer talking about millions but billions of ringgit of possible corruption money.

No other prime ministers in the past have even attempted to give the green light to prosecute these once-invincible leaders.

Other cases

There are a few other cases which will can help boost our public coffers. In the case of the millions of ringgit in uncollected taxes involving disgraced former premier Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and his children, we would expect the courts to expedite the legal process.

If found guilty, the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) should seize and auction their properties in the same manner that the taxman would do to any of us if we fail to pay even a single ringgit in taxes.

Meanwhile, at least two other cases will be battled out in courts by the beneficiaries following the decease of the “top guns” and if there are opportunities for the country to confiscate the illicit monies, PMX and the MACC should act fast in the interest of the country.

For this reason, Azam should be allowed to carry on with his task uninterrupted for now. Whatever the reasons may be for extending Azam’s tenure of service, the Damocles’ sword hanging over the head may be the most powerful tool in the hands of the PMX. - Feb 23, 2024.

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