I QUITE agree with Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that it is not easy to investigate high profile cases especially former PMs, ministers, their children and family members for corruption.
It is lost more easier to investigate and what more take the appropriate action against low profile cases and their family members.
The country in the past had a notorious reputation of letting the “big fish” slip by than the “small fish” or ikan bilis (anchovies).
The public welcomes the recent moves of the MACC to investigate the children of a former PM and a once powerful finance minister.
I believe that MACC has recorded statements from other leaders associated with the former government.
Following the release of the Pandora Papers, the MACC possess an exhaustive list of powerful individuals in the country who are involved in offshore investments, including some shady and dubious financial lists.
The once dormant MACC has Herculean task to perform in netting the corrupt ones especially the powerful and once famous. As it is, the former PM is already making noise of Anwar taking revenge on the family.
Likewise, the wife of the once powerful financial minister has claimed that her family has an independent source of wealth.
I am not sure who else the MACC is investigating. If the Pandora Box is of any clue, the list of possible suspects could be many.
Going beyond political rhetoric
What is certain, however, is that the scourge of corruption, financial scandals, money laundering and others have wrecked the financial strength and economic viability of the country.
The present mammoth foreign debts are invariably related to the phenomenon of corruption. The question is how serious is the present Madani government under the leadership of Anwar willing to nail the scourge of corruption.
Investigation is one thing but taking action to punish those involved is another thing. So far, the focus of the government is on investigating those involved immaterial of their financial or political status.
However, if investigations do not proceed beyond this realm, then the government can be accused of merely engaging in rhetoric.
It serves no purpose for Anwar or those in the government of giving publicity to the on-going investigations without following up with the corresponding prosecution. This is the reason why some political analysts are saying that the elimination of corruption should proceed beyond the rhetoric.
If no action is taken against those who have amassed mammoth illegal wealth, then the present government is no different to earlier ones. There is fear that if the government cannot live up to much needed reforms in the country, what guarantee is there for the prosecution of the rich and powerful.
The government already under the weight of imminent collapse following the “Dubai Move” conspiracy might be biting more than it could chew.
Anyway, since the investigations are on-going, it is better to give the government the benefit of doubt in addressing the corruption phenomenon.
My only hope is that investigations and the possible actions are not discarded the way promises of the much-needed reforms have been cast into the dustbin of history. – Jan 21, 2024
Former DAP stalwart and Penang chief minister II Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is chairman of the Urimai (United Rights of Malaysian Party) Interim Council.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.