Malaysia's anti-corruption chief Dzulkifli Ahmad quits

Chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission an Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad resigned from his position on May 14, 2018.
Chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission an Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad resigned from his position on May 14, 2018.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia’s anti-corruption chief Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad has resigned from his post, days after Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced that the government will investigate certain agencies for corruption.

A source told The Straits Times that Dzulkifli, who took over from Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed two years ago, tendered his resignation letter on Monday (May 14) morning.

“He submitted his resignation letter to the Chief Secretary of the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa this morning.

“He left his office and the premises soon after,” the source said.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigations director Azam Baki, when contacted by The Straits Times, denied he was in the know.

“I’m not sure whether he’s resigned, I wasn’t informed.”

MACC however later issued a statement yesterday saying Mr Dzulkifli’s contract had ended and he will be returning to work at the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

 

The Straits Times also understands from the source that Mr Abu Kassim, Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali and Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdull, all part of the MACC leadership during the 2015 1MDB investigations, are set to rejoin the agency.

“Tan Sri Abu was sighted this morning in the area. From our understanding, he’s set to make a return.

“As for Datuk Seri Mustafar, it’s still in the final process of discussion but it’s looking positive,” the source added.

Following Mr Dzulkifli’s resignation, former MACC investigations and intelligence director Datuk Abdul Razak Idris lodged reports against Datuk Seri Najib Razak, alleging that the ex-premier had used his position for gratification and allegedly owned unexplained properties.

He told reporters “a former boss” had urged him to file the reports, but declined to name the person. 

MACC, then headed by Mr Abu Kassim, began investigations into allegations of graft and financial mismanagement at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the transfer of 2.6 billion ringgit (S$647.09 million) to former Prime Minister Najib Razak's bank accounts.

In January 2016, Attorney General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali cleared Mr Najib of any wrongdoing, saying the money was a political donation from the Saudi royal family.

But the MACC persisted in its probe by resubmitting investigation papers concerning RM42 million that was also found in Mr Najib’s bank accounts.

In mid-2016, the Barisan Nasional government named Mr Dzulkifli as the new MACC chief, replacing Mr Abu Kassim who announced his early retirement.

His deputy Mr Mustafar was reassigned to head the Immigration Department. Another deputy Mohd Shukri Abdull was ordered to go on early leave until his retirement in October, 2016. 

The latest developments followed an announcement last Friday by the Pakatan Harapan coalition that it will investigate government agencies for corruption. Tun Dr Mahathir had said those who are found to be corrupt will be dealt.

Among those he had mentioned include Tan Sri Apandi, Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah and the MACC.