PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's anti-graft officers should be allowed to carry out their job without intimidation, Malaysia's Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has said, amid mounting concerns of interference in the agency's probe into the troubled 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state investment fund.
Commenting on the transfers of two Malaysian Anti-corruption Commission (MACC) senior officers to other departments, Khairy said the officers were just doing the job they were tasked with.
"I hope things like these (transfer of senior MACC officials) can be stopped immediately and the intimidation against MACC must stop. I can not accept attacks on institutions like the MACC," he said.
"The transfer of these officers seems very strange and very disappointing as if it was a planned intimidation against MACC," he was reported saying Friday at the opening of the Malaysian Youth Council annual general assembly in Kuala Lumpur.
The Umno Youth chief said institutions such as the MACC needed to be protected and allowed to conduct its affairs independently.
"I understand that the transferred officers' mistake could be just receiving visits from the Opposition. After that, they were transferred. For me, it is very unfair," he said.
He said intimidation tactics on the MACC would only anger the public and lead to more speculation and rumours as people would perceive that the commission would be attacked each time it tried to do its job.
He added that such intimidation had to stop or the public's trust in public institutions and the Government would be eroded.
"We have to safeguard the institution. Don't ruin the country's institutions, just because we want to have a specific agenda.
"I am not willing to allow and tolerate such things," he said.
Khairy was commenting on the transfers of MACC special operations director Datuk Bahri Mohamad Zin and strategic communications director Datuk Rohaizad Yaakob to the Prime Minister's Department (PMD) on Friday.
Media reports said the two men had been transferred due to "disciplinary problems" and will start at the PMD on Monday. It is unclear what positions they will be filling.
The latest development came after police raided MACC's offices and hauled up its officers for questioning as part of a probe into alleged leaks by officials investigating debt-laden 1MDB.