"Based on new findings (obtained) through Noor Ehsanuddin's new (defence) statement, the accused successfully proved that he had paid back the sum in question BEFORE (emphasis is the writer’s) the start of the (initial) investigation. A key witness also confirmed the matter (money) as advances."
- MACC statement, Sept 6
"ACAB views there are shortcomings in the investigation; and the decisions by the Attorney-General’s Chambers in early February 2019 and the MACC management and administration at the time was made without a comprehensive consideration. Because of actions at the time that was not transparent, unprofessional and leaned towards political interests, the MACC management today has to bear its consequences.”
- MACC Anti-Corruption Advisory Committee (ACAB) chairperson Abu Zahar Ujang, Sept 7
COMMENT | These two statements made in relation to the withdrawal of 29 charges of corruption against former Felda board member Noor Ehsanuddin Mohd Harun Narrashid on May 21 were unpalatable, unaccepted and at the worse irrational and ridiculous.
In two commentaries published two weeks ago, I asked a loaded question: Is it legal and acceptable for any person to accept gratification and later repay the money and call it “advances” to escape prosecution? No answers have been forthcoming from the MACC or MACC Anti-Corruption Advisory Committee chairperson Abu Zahar Ujang.
But what happens if the MACC officers allegedly involved in the missing millions offer the same defence used by Noor Ehsanuddin under Section 62 of the MACC Act?
So, if they return or replace the stolen money, wouldn’t it be a case of what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander? But lawyers say such a defence is not available to them as in this case, it is theft of public money and not a bribe or laundering of money.
That’s assuring indeed but it is debatable and arguable as legal opinions defer depending on which side you are representing. Since the investigations are being carried out by the MACC itself, will it not prejudice the case?
The rules of natural justice state that in making a decision, there should be no bias in the person making the decision as he or she must act impartially when considering the matter, and must not have any relationships with anyone that could lead someone to reasonably doubt their impartiality.
Similarly, the same can be said of investigations as there is always a likelihood of