Malaysia's anti-graft agency welcomes halt to info leak probe

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has welcomed the postponement of police investigations into the agency over alleged leaks regarding embattled investment fund 1MDB.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has welcomed the postponement of police investigations into the agency over alleged leaks regarding embattled investment fund 1MDB.PHOTO: REUTERS

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's anti-graft agency has welcomed the postponement of police investigations into the alleged leak of information by the agency on the troubled 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state investment company.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy chief commissioner for prevention Datuk Mustafar Ali said the statement by the country's police chief will allow the current "uneasy situation" surrounding the MACC to blow over.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said on Saturday that the police investigations into the source of the leak of information published in whistleblower website Sarawak Report would be temporarily stopped. Khalid had reiterated that the investigations were into the source of the leaks and not targeted at the MACC itself.

Mustafar said the commission and police understood each other's duties and responsibilities, adding that it was committed to fighting corruption independently and professionally.

"Looking at the current situation, MACC would like to advise all parties not to disseminate and spread information that isn't verified, as well as negative assumptions which will only confuse and raise suspicion among the people," Mustafar said in a statement.

Mustafar extended his appreciation to the various groups which had recently shown their support to the anti-graft body.

However, he discouraged these groups from gathering outside MACC offices nationwide, as it would create an uncomfortable situation for members of the public.

"Although we appreciate their support and intentions, we would like to ask that they do not continue as it will create an uncomfortable situation for members of the public who are dealing with the Government, as most of MACC's offices are located in Government buildings," said Mustafar.

He also revealed that MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed had successfully undergone surgery for an unspecified health condition.

"I had visited Tan Sri Abu Kassim at the hospital and found that he is gradually getting better. The doctor advised that he gets enough rest before returning to work," Mustafar said, adding that the surgery had been scheduled awhile back.

On Friday, MACC special operations director Datuk Bahri Mohd Zin and strategic communications director Datuk Rohaizad Yaakob were transferred to the Prime Minister's Department with immediate effect.

Bahri, who was among several officers questioned by police in connection with the information leaks, was quoted as saying that he vowed to "find perpetrators who are ordering the arrests" of MACC officers.

It is believed the transfer of Rohaizad could be due to his "soft approach" to Opposition leaders when they visited the MACC headquarters on Thursday.

MACC deputy chief commissioner for operations Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull has since called for the two officers to be returned, and even offered himself to be transferred instead as the duo were only acting on his orders.