KUALA LUMPUR (May 22): The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Centre) has urged for the Attorney General’s office to prioritise the corruption charge of the newly-appointed Minister of Finance, in order to uphold good governance.

In a statement, the centre today said it is troubled that Lim Guan Eng has been appointed as Finance Minister, despite earlier statements by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir that he can only be appointed if he has been cleared of his corruption charge.

“We acknowledge that there is no legal compulsion that prevents Lim’s appointment as minister, while still answering for a corruption charge. However, there are good governance principles that underlie the importance of Tun Dr Mahathir’s earlier statement.

“Public officials must uphold full accountability for their actions, and corruption must be completely absent — how can this be neglected with the newly-minted cabinet and especially [with] the leadership of the finance ministry at stake?” said C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel.

Gabriel said while swiftness is required to implement the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s promises to the people and its 100-day policy goals, the government should also walk the talk on systemic reforms.

“Therefore, the rule of law and due process in clearing Lim Guan Eng must uncompromisingly be followed, before any federal appointments,” she added.

Additionally, C4 also urged for greater transparency on the process between the prime minister and the attorney general’s office to instill confidence in the public sphere that no strings were pulled, demonstrating due process was adhered to, despite the urgency.

“We trust that the PH government is vigilant and must not falter at this pivotal moment in Malaysian history. Precedent must be set for future generations, such that reform truly takes root in Malaysia,” the centre said.

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It is rather odd that Gabriel inaugural statement post appointment of the Special Task Force reactivated to investigate the so called 1MDB scandals, is not anything related to the strategic investment company which is now under the Ministry of Finance (MOF) Inc.

The fact Attorney General Tan Srì Apandi Mohamed Ali was asked to go on leave last Monday by Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, had arisen suspicion by many.

AG Apandi in the capacity of Public Prosecutor who charged Lim, then Chief Minister of Penang for corrupt practices, in June 2016.

Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir also reactivated the Task-Force to investigate on 1MDB matters, headed by Tan Srì Abu Talib Othman and members comprised of former AG Tan Srì Abdul Gani Patail, former MACC Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed, newly appointed MACC Chief Commissioner Dato’ Seri Shukri and Gabriel herself.

In reference to PP Vs Lim Guan Eng, Gabriel as the so called graft-watch-dog should be mindful that so far, no new evidence has been tendered in consideration of the prosecution’s case.

Therefore, there is neither reason for AG Apandi nor the Solicitor General currently acting as his behalf should review the case but to allow the case to continue on its normal cause without any interference.

In one of his daily media conference, Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir promised the “Separation of powers”, hence the Public Prosecutor should be allowed to do their duty and the bench be given the independence to hear the case, in the name of justice.

When Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir announced his first top five of his Cabinet days after his Pakatan Harapan were declared winners of the XIV GE, DAP Secretary General Kim Guan Eng was named the Minister of Finance.

Then days later after being highlighted by many including the netizens, Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir said “Lim Guan Eng got to clear his name first”.

Yet, yesterday he swore in before His majesty Seri Paduka Yang DiPertuan Agong as the Minister of Finance as his corrupt parctices case is still ongoing.

This is also what Gabriel highlighted.

The Star story:

Guan Eng must be cleared of corruption charges before becoming Finance Minister, says C4


  • NATION
  • Tuesday, 22 May 2018

PETALING JAYA: Lim Guan Eng must be cleared of any corruption charges before becoming the Finance Minister, said the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4).

“The C4 Centre is troubled that Lim has been appointed as Finance Minister despite earlier statements by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that he can only be appointed if he has been cleared of his corruption charge,” its executive director Cynthia Gabriel said in a statement on Tuesday (May 22).

Lim is currently facing charges of using his position as the former Penang chief minister to obtain a plot of land and a bungalow at below market value.

He was also charged with gaining gratification for himself and his wife Betty Chew Gek Cheng by approving the application for conversion of agricultural land to a public housing zone in Balik Pulau to a company.

Despite his ongoing trial, Lim was sworn in as the new Finance Minister on Monday (May 21).

“While there is no question about Lim Guan Eng’s suitability for the candidacy, it raises questions about how the Pakatan Harapan is pushing his appointment through,” said Gabriel.

“Public officials must uphold full accountability for their actions, and corruption must be completely absent – how can this be neglected with the newly minted Cabinet and especially the leadership of the Finance Ministry at stake,” she added.

She said the Pakatan government needed to “walk their talk” of systemic reform, adding that the country needs clean and honest leaders.

Gabriel added that the rule of law and due process in clearing Lim must be followed uncompromisingly before any federal appointments.

She said that as such, the Attorney-General’s (AG) office has to treat Lim’s case with the greatest urgency and the highest priority.

“We urge greater transparency about the process between the Prime Minister and the A-G’s office to instil confidence in the public sphere that no strings were pulled, demonstrating that due process was adhered to despite the urgency,” she said.

Gabriel acknowledged that there were no legal implications that prevented Lim from taking up the role.

She, however, noted that there are good governance principles which underlay the importance of Dr Mahathir’s statement.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/05/22/guan-eng-must-be-cleared-of-corruption-charges-before-becoming-finance-minister-says-c4/#vOzHk55r7rYhuDvC.9

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Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir already ‘Flip-Flop’ped on several items pertaining to his Cabinet and other strategic appointments last week. The omision of the appointment of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Imternational Trade and Industry are worrying analysts.

The retired MACC Deputy Chief Commisioner Dato’ Shukri Abdul came back after Tan Sri Zulkefli quit, and begins his new term with a drama from the past.

The Star story:

New MACC chief breaks down in recounting what he went through (full story)


PUTRAJAYA: Newly appointed Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull broke down when he recounted his time running away from Malaysian authorities to the United States.

This came in 2015 after his former boss Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed at the MACC decided to indict former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak over the RM2.6bil that was found in his personal bank account.

Shukri said that the commission had well-founded basis to initiate an investigation into SRC International, a subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which had been accused of transferring millions of ringgit into Najib’s private account.

According to Shukri, Abu Kassim asked him whether he was ready for the consequences of indicting a sitting prime minister, which could have led to their dismissal.

However, on the day in July 2015 when Abu Kassim was going to do indict Najib, former Attorney-General Gani Patail was removed from his position.

The announcement came along with the reshuffling of the Cabinet that also saw the sacking of the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who had also raised questions about 1MDB.

With all these sackings foremost in his mind, Shukri left for Washington on July 31, 2015, to bring up the 1MDB issue with US authorities.

Wary, he released misleading information that he was headed to Saudi Arabia, and he heard that people were waiting to arrest him in Jeddah.

Shukri said that before he left for Washington, he faced tremendous pressure.

“The witnesses I interviewed had been taken away.

“I was threatened to be fired, was told to retire early and was even threatened to be sent to the training division,” he said.

The trip to Washington had its own drama.

“I noticed someone was following me (in Washington). My team in the United States took pictures of the man who was following me.

“I sent the pictures to MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki, and asked him to send it to the then Inspector-General Police,” he said, adding that he made it clear that he knew that men were following him.

Shukri said he felt unsafe in Washington and decided to go to New York, where he met up with a friend who worked in the New York Police Department (NYPD).

“I got protection from the NYPD and they provided me with three bodyguards,” he said.

Shukri said he then returned to Washington.

It was in recounting this episode during his Tuesday press conference that Shukri broke down in tears, saying he felt guilty when he was told that his men who were working for him had been incarcerated.

“I felt helpless and was frustrated for failing to protect my men.

“I cried in front of the mat salleh (Caucasians). My men and I had been accused of conspiring to topple the (Barisan Nasional) government,” he said.

Shukri finally retired in August 2016 at the age of 56. During his farewell speech, he hit out at an “individual” who had alleged that he was involved in a conspiracy to topple Najib and his administration.

Abu Kassim, who was appointed MACC chief in 2010, was also replaced by Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad in 2016.

Shukri served at the anti-graft body for 32 years before he retired. He first joined the then Anti-Corruption Agency in 1984 as investigations officer after graduating from Universiti Kebangsaan Malay­sia.

He rose up the ranks and served as ACA director in Perlis, Kelantan and Sabah.

Upon his return to the headquarters in July 2006, he was promoted to the post of assistant investigations director and two months later, was promoted yet again to be the director of investigations.

In 2010, he took on the position of MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations), which he held till his retirement.

Pakatan Harapan appointed Shukri to head the MACC when it took over Putrajaya after GE14.

He clocked in for work at 10.29am on Monday (May 21), having received his appointment letter just about an hour before reporting for duty.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/05/22/new-macc-chief-breaks-down-in-recounting-what-he-went-through/#zek5Oy6cOIjig5Ih.99

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Never mind all the showboating before. All the dramas, manipulations, slanders and lies, which were the basis of Malaysians’ thought and decision when they went to the polls on 9 May.

Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir and his Motley Crew, have in exactly two weeks demonstrated that they are inconsistent and drama is the best that they have to sell, instead of a bankable plan.