Probe into KL anti-graft agency leaks suspended

Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said yesterday that police investigations into alleged leaks by MACC on the probe into 1MDB have been suspended. The police raided two MACC offices and questioned or arrested seven of its officers in recent weeks. PHOTO: AGEN
Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said yesterday that police investigations into alleged leaks by MACC on the probe into 1MDB have been suspended. The police raided two MACC offices and questioned or arrested seven of its officers in recent weeks. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Minister calls on govt to deal with trust deficit urgently or risk ringgit falling even further

Investigations into the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) alleged leakage of information on the probe into state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) will be suspended, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said, as Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin called on the government to deal immediately with its trust deficit.

The MACC yesterday welcomed the announcement and asked lawmakers, groups and the public to stop visiting its premises to show solidarity, saying it would rather members of the public cooperate in the war on graft by abstaining from corrupt activities.

"The MACC welcomes Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar's statement that the investigation against MACC officers over an information leak will be temporarily postponed… The MACC understands the duties of the police, and vice versa," the commission said in a statement.

The MACC also clarified that its chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed is recovering following an operation which had been scheduled some time ago, amid rumours he was on forced leave.

Tan Sri Abu Kassim's leave comes as seven MACC officers have either been questioned or arrested, while police also raided two of MACC's offices in the past week.

INVESTORS TAKING MONEY ELSEWHERE

No one trusts the message or the messenger. This crisis in confidence is why the ringgit is in free fall and investors are taking their money elsewhere. The more the ringgit falls, the more expensive things are.

MR KHAIRY JAMALUDDIN, Youth and Sports Minister, on the need for the Malaysian government to deal with a trust deficit

On Friday, MACC special operations division director Bahri Mohamad Zin and strategic communications director Rohaizad Yaakob were transferred to the Prime Minister's Department due to "disciplinary issues".

Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, the brother of Prime Minister Najib Razak, yesterday displayed his support for MACC by posting a photo of the commission's senior officials on sharing site Instagram.

"A few good men. Protect their institution, MACC. Allow & encourage them to carry out their duties without fear or favour," wrote the CIMB chairman.

Sacked Cabinet minister Mohd Shafie Apdal also joined the chorus of disapproval over the transfer of the two officers, questioning if the government was interested in finding out the truth.

Datuk Seri Shafie, who is also Umno vice-president, said yesterday that the transfer will create a negative public perception of the government and stressed that the anti- graft agency should be given the freedom to carry out its tasks as an independent body.

Mr Khairy said the government must deal immediately with the current trust deficit or risk the ringgit weakening further, in the wake of a controversial US$700 million (S$960 million) donation to Datuk Seri Najib from Middle Eastern sources, and the investigation of leaks in the 1MDB scandal.

"No one trusts the message or the messenger. This crisis in confidence is why the ringgit is in free fall and investors are taking their money elsewhere. The more the ringgit falls, the more expensive things are," he told a forum at the Malaysian Student Leaders Summit in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Sacked deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin said yesterday that asking the Prime Minister to respond to questions over 1MDB does not make him a traitor.

The Umno deputy president also dismissed allegations that he conspired with Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to overthrow the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, Mr Najib, who attended the Pasir Gudang Umno divisional meeting in Johor, said that there had been other bigger scandals in the past amounting to billions of ringgit in losses, but he did not elaborate.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2015, with the headline 'Probe into KL anti-graft agency leaks suspended'. Print Edition | Subscribe