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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Is Low prepared to choose between Najib and MACC? asks anti-graft body

An anti-graft group today challenged minister Datuk Paul Low to state whether he would choose to protect the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
This is after Low, who is in charge of Najib’s integrity and anti-corruption efforts, pledged today that he would speak up against interference in MACC and even take the matter up with the prime minister if need be.

“As a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, are you willing to protect the MACC over protecting the prime minister if you are faced with the difficult choice of choosing between the two?” said Akmal Nasir, who is director of the National Oversight and Whistler (NOW).

Akmal questioned Low’s pledge to protect MACC against interference even if it involved the prime minister.

This is because Low had advised Najib against attending the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Putrajaya last September out of fear for Najib’s safety and to shield the latter from negative perceptions.

The IACC, which was attended by some of the world’s top anti-corruption agencies and campaigners, was organised by MACC.

“Normally, the guarantee of protection will only be given if there is a threat or the possibility of a threat. What pressure, threats or interference that is being felt by MACC to the point that the minister must defend it?” said Akmal in his statement today.

“What are the protections that the minister is willing to give to MACC to safeguard the integrity of its operations and investigations other than the willingness to speak up openly?”
Low today said he would defend MACC from any interference amid talk that its chief commissioner would be replaced.

“If Abu Kassim is forced to resign from MACC earlier than 2018 as stipulated in his contract, is the minister willing to accept the responsibility that he has failed and resign as a minister?” said Akmal, referring to MACC's chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed.

MACC is investigating the RM2.6 billion that has gone into Najib’s accounts and a RM4 billion loan to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

“The public is still waiting for the outcome of the RM2.6 billion scandal,” said Akmal. - Msia Insider

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