Monday, May 24, 2010

MACC's Attempt To Boost Its Image Doomed To Fail

There is an interesting report in today's NST that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's 13-member Anti-Corruption Advisory Board has made two recommendations to turn it into a more credible institution.

One is that the Federal Constitution be amended to pave the way for the creation of an Anti-Corruption Service Commission for the appointment, confirmation and promotion of members of the anti-graft body.

The other is for the top graftbuster to be accorded a position equivalent to the inspector-general of police.

But these are merely cosmetic changes that benefit the MACC staff and will in no way lead to improvement in their dismal service. What does it matter if the head of the MACC is accorded a higher rank? Will it make him less subservient to the Umno leadership? Or will he suddenly develop larger testes to take on government-sponsored corruption? It is a fallacy that creating an Anti-Corruption Service Commission which will result in a better deal for MACC staff will in itself cause the officers there to suddenly become more efficient. On the contrary a sudden infusion of 'goodies' will have the undesirable effect of making the already pliant MACC thugs more beholden to Najib and gang.

The NST further reported that the board, chaired by former chief justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad, said despite a credible performance last year, the MACC’s biggest challenge was to rectify the negative perception the public had against it.

"The long-term goal should be to make the MACC one of the leading anti-corruption bodies in the world and for Malaysia to be seen as a corruption-free country," it said.

As everyone knows, former chief justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad is himself a disgraced and discredited figure having bent over backwards to help former PM Dr Mahathir oust the then Lord President in a government backed coup d'état against the judiciary. This man should first be removed as chairman of the board.

The only recourse for the MACC to become more credible and help repair their battered public image is:

Be made answerable only to Parliament. This will at least limit the level of executive interference somewhat.

Remove as many of the deadwood from the highest ranks to the lowest officers as possible and recruit a more ethnically balanced force.

Stop sourcing completely from the morally and ethically challenged Royal Malaysia Police.

Endeavor to employ highly qualifed and experienced foreigners such as those from the Independent Commission Against Corruption Hong Kong who won't be easily susceptible to licking the rears of government leaders.

Of course none of this is going to happen until Umno is blown away in the next G.E. Hopefully the Pakatan federal government which will take over can preside over the creation of a genuine anti-corruption force we can be proud of.

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