The five independent oversight panels of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said there should be no interference or pressure on the special task force investigating 1MBD.
"The task force must be given the widest possible latitude to conduct the investigation without fear or favour.
"In this matter, we strongly feel it is highly pertinent to ensure the integrity of MACC as an independent anti-corruption commission is maintained and not compromised," read their joint statement today.
The statement followed Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's cabinet reshuffle and the removal of Abdul Gani Patail ( photo ) as attorney-general, and the appointment of four Public Accounts Committee (PAC) members including its chairperson, to ministerial and deputy ministerial positions.
The move ignited speculation that it was designed to derail probes into the 1MDB issue.
Nevertheless, the five panels - which play an advisory role to the MACC - assured that the MACC would facilitate and expedite an “independent, transparent and professional investigation without the pressure and intervention from any party”, and bring any wrongdoers to justice.
The MACC is a part of the special taskforce investigating 1MDB together with the Royal Malaysian Police and Bank Negara Malaysia, while the Attorney-General’s Chambers is in charge of prosecuting those implicated in the investigations.
Apart from the taskforce, separate investigations on 1MDB are also being conducted by the auditor-general and the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
The five panels urged that these investigations should be expedited as well, and its findings should be made public in order to restore public confidence in the investigation and the agencies involved.
“In view of current developments in the country, the panels strongly urge that the investigations be concluded in the shortest time possible,” it said.
The five panels are: The Special Committee on Corruption led by Abu Zahar Ujang, the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board led by Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim ( photo ), the Operations Review Panel led by Hamid Bugo, the Complaints Committee led by Wilson Baya Dandot, and the Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel led by Johan Jaaffar.
Meanwhile, the panels urged the newly minted attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali to give clear updates on the developments of the 1MDB investigation when providing legal advice and guidance to the special taskforce.
This is to prevent ‘negative perceptions’ on the agencies involved in the taskforce, it said.
“This is important in view of the fact that the MACC’s task is focused only on issues related to SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1MDB, while the 1MDB is being investigated by the other bodies,” it added.
SRC International has since been taken over by the Ministry of Finance.
SRC International is among several companies alleged to be involved in channeling a total of RM2.6 billion in 1MDB funds to Najib’s personal bank account.
Najib has since said that he did not take public money for personal use, but stopped short of an outright denial of the allegation.