Anwar’s government is under fire for perceived selective prosecution

POLITICAL economist and Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) chairperson Edmund Terence Gomez have raised concerns about selective prosecution in connection with the Pandora Papers, questioning why Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz have not been investigated.The same question was raised by A. Kadir Jasin, a well-known media figure, who added the name of William Leong to the list of people not investigated based on the Pandora Papers.Last month, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) hauled up a former minister for questioning concerning the Pandora Papers scandal.The 84-year-old ex-minister was asked to explain the money flow of 12 offshore companies owned by him and his family. The MACC may call the latter again for clarification.The report also said the son of a former prime minister will also be called by the MACC soon with more people also expected to be probed about the Pandora Papers.Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim emphasised that the country cannot afford further illicit money siphoning and urged authorities to seriously investigate activities related to the Pandora Papers.Last month, he stated that addressing this issue requires clear political determination, which was lacking in previous administrations. While acknowledging that some offshore activities are legitimate, Anwar insisted on the importance of thorough investigations.The Tambun MP assured that the agencies involved report to him and that his instructions are clear: they must not take these matters lightly and must work to prevent such activities from continuing in Malaysia.Nevertheless, Gomez claimed that only former finance minister Tun Dr Daim Zainuddin had been called up by the MACC.Speaking at the “Corruption as an Economic Problem” forum, Gomez urged that others mentioned in the Pandora Papers, such as Selayang MP William Leong should also be investigated.He added that the MACC should be made independent and autonomous to avoid allegations of selective prosecution.Gomez expressed more faith in the current administration led by Anwar compared to previous administrations but emphasized the need for independent enforcement. — March 26, 2023

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE