While Anwar’s all-out graft war is lauded, it still lacks credibility

IT IS well and good for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to say the government would go after former premiers, a former finance minister and government officials who have stolen public wealth.

Anwar said this in the midst of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) on-going investigations against those who were in positions of power and influence.

Apparently, the MACC has emerged from its slumber to say that it has an exhaustive list of persons who might be investigated in due course.

The government’s move against corruption must be lauded. While the overwhelming thrust of the MACC investigations seem to the directed at the opposition members, an impression is given of political revenge.

While the government should not spare anybody in the move against corruption, why does it seem to be lenient on the ministers and government officials under the present government?

Sparing the rod

How can the government establish credibility and legitimacy in the war against corruption, if tainted ministers and officials of the present government seem to enjoy immunity from prosecution.

Anwar’s bold talk about the war against corruption might end up as a mere political rhetoric.

If the Deputy Prime Minister and UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi could be let off the hook with discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA) of 47 corruption and money laundering charges, how can Anwar get the public support in the drive against corruption?

Toh Puan Na’imah Abdul Khalid, the wife of former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, is charged today at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court (Jan 23) with failing to declare her assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) (Pic credit: Malay Mail)

If the former human resource minister of the present government could be left off the hook that easily without being prosecuted, what assurance is there for the government to have credibility.

If I am not mistaken, maybe there are other cases against ministers and officials of the present Madani government. Unfortunately, the MACC seems to have the list of possible wrongdoers associated with the opposition.

It was a Herculean task for Anwar to ascend and hold the post of PM. He has been in office for slightly more than a year yet there is nothing spectacular about his administration.

Slogans are there but nothing seems to be translated into action. The constant and deafening shouts of reformai have all been forgotten. There is anything but reforms.


Corruption is a mammoth issue in the country to the extent that foreign debts has accumulated to a whopping RM1.5 tril.

While other countries in the region have taken harsh measures against the scourge of corruption, Malaysia seems to operate on the realm of rhetoric and propaganda. It is great to move against corruption but why focus only on the opposition alone?

Don’t tell me that the present government is only composed of saints or incorruptible individuals. MACC might be the leading national investigation agency against corruption but the agency is subordinate of the executive – in other words, the PM.

How can the MACC be expected to be fair and just when the directions come from the executive? In fact, MACC itself was not reformed after Anwar took over the PM’s position.

How can the government of the day get the public to buy in to its war against corruption if corruption appears to be a political game.

As the Madani government is on the political survival mode, nothing else is more important than this. Given this political expediency, nothing matters to Anwar than to stay in office.

Reforms, the fight against corruption, economic stability and others might be tangential to the political administration that calls itself the Madani government. – Jan 23, 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.

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