MACC marks 55th anniversary with high-profile case achievements

MACC marks 55th anniversary with high-profile case achievements

PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) celebrates its 55th anniversary this year with the theme ‘Amanah, Tegas dan Adil’ (Trustworthy, Firm and Fair), highlighting many success stories of uncovering white-collar crimes and high-profile cases.

MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki said the theme was also in line with the agency’s approach to handling high-profile cases involving people in positions or high-ranking individuals.

Azam said of the 292 corruption cases that were tried in 2021, including high-profile ones, 91.1 per cent or 266 cases ended in conviction.
“This is a success because it exceeds the 90 percent corruption conviction rate set in the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) 2019 – 2023. In terms of asset recovery, last year, the total amount of assets that were forfeited and returned to the Malaysian government was RM5.1 billion, 99.57 percent of which was from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case.
“Investigations into the cases were very challenging because of the many constraints we faced from various aspects.

“But the success – right from the investigations to the prosecution stage – proves the MACC’s capability and ability in handling high-profile and complex cases that are not only recognised in this country but at the international level,” he told reporters recently in conjunction with MACC’s 55th anniversary today.

Azam said besides the 1MDB and SRC International cases, the Op Water corruption scandal was also among the great achievements for MACC, which recorded the largest seizure involving cash, luxury vehicles and jewellery worth millions of ringgit.

“Let’s not forget the ship charter company, Pristine Offshore Sdn Bhd, which was the first company to be accused under Section 17A of the MACC Act 2009 for an offence by a commercial organisation, since the law came into effect on June 1, 2020,” he said, adding that the case served as a lesson to other corporate sectors.

Azam also said the collaboration between MACC’s Malaysian Anti-Corruption Academy (MACA), and Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom, to produce trained staff, has also borne fruit.
He said at the first convocation ceremony on Sept 8, a total of 266 MACA graduates received their scrolls and certificates of study from Nottingham Trent University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) Prof Cillian Ryan.

“The MACC top management collaborated with Nottingham Trent University in 2017 after obtaining federal government approval to develop a professional standard basic course module for MACC officers, encompassing an investigation module, intelligence module, a prosecution and legal module, a professional practice module and a leadership module.

“The advantages gained are very important and meaningful to MACC, especially MACA in developing and drafting a more efficient and high-quality training action plan on par with local and international institutions of higher education,” he said.

On new developments in MACC after he was appointed as chief commissioner, Azam said the agency known previously as the Anti-Corruption Agency had waited for information and complaints before conducting investigations.

“After the year 2000, we started using intelligence and undercover methods to expose corruption cases. It has expanded with the use of Intelligence Based Investigations (IBI).
“This method is proactive and can use used for high profile cases where deep analysis is implemented on subjects before proper investigations. With deep analysis, the identification of high profile corrupt individuals can be confirmed and the second is asset restoration,” he added.

He said with the IBI method, MACC uncovered grand corruption through Op Water, Op Power, Op Hack involving high-profile cases. MACC also managed to uncover the misappropriation of the SRC International funds amounting to RM42 million and infrastructure project funds totalling RM3.3 billion under Op Water as well as cases of electricity theft involving Bitcoin syndicates that caused losses of up to RM2.3 billion between 2018 and 2021 through Op Power.

Azam said that each operation has its significant impact, not only on the community but also on the agencies involved, where prevention goes hand in hand with enforcement.
“To ensure that the issues at hand can be tackled comprehensively, after carrying enforcement in terms of investigations and arrests, the MACC also takes proactive measures by providing advisory services and recommendations to the agencies involved to eliminate opportunities for corruption to occur for the purpose of improving governance,” he said.

Azam said between Jan 2020 and August this year, a total of 2,553 individuals were arrested while a total of 1,313 charges involving corruption cases were framed.
“These numbers indirectly give the impression that MACC is very active in carrying out operations to fight corruption in this country,” he said.

— BERNAMA

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