The Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Bill Should Outlaw Closed Or Negotiated Tenders And Clause 58 Amended Or Removed

Excerpt from Speech During The DAP Sarawak State Annual Convention In Kuching On 14.12.2008.

The Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Bill Should Outlaw Closed Or Negotiated Tenders And Clause 58 Amended Or Removed So That The Public Prosecutor or Attorney-General (AG) Can Not Interfere In The Prosecution Of Corruption Cases By The MACC.

The MACC Bill should outlaw closed or negotiated tenders and Clause 58 amended of removed so that the Attorney-General can not interfere in the prosecution of corruption cases by the MACC. Clause 58 states that a prosecution for an offence under the MACC Act “shall not be instituted except by or with the consent of the Public Prosecutor(AG)”.

DAP opposes clause 58 to establish the MACC Chief Commissioner’s sole powers of the prosecution to ensure MACC’s independence from executive interference and the integrity of its investigations without external influence. Even though DAP is inclined to support the MACC, the removal or amendment of Clause 58 would go a long way towards full and unqualified support from the public.

Further the Federal government should comply with international benchmarks by making open tenders of government contracts the standard legal requirement in the interests of competency, accountability and transparency. When Penang introduced open tenders to stop the corruption and abuses of power, we were criticised by BN for being unfair.

UMNO even organised demonstrations to force us to back down. I do not see how open tenders can be unfair so we boldly persisted. And we have been proven correct that BN which criticised us is now following us by steadily adopting the open tender system at the federal government level such the the RM 4.3 billion Penang Second Bridge.

Clearly BN have still not learnt the lessons of the political tsunami of March 8 general elections by continuously exploiting racial and religious issues to divide Malaysians to distract attention from their failures of governance or stopping corruption. After the March 8 general elections, not only was there no action against mismanagement but there were 4 new scandals at the Federal level.

The four scandals amounting to RM 28.9 billion have deprived much needed funds for infrastructure works such as drainage to prevent flash floods of for social programs that uplift living standards and wipe out poverty in Malaysia includes:

* Maybank’s overpriced RM 10.8 billion purchase of two distressed foreign banks at twice their present value – the RM 8 billion acquisition of Bank Internasional Indonesia ( BII) and RM 2.8 billion purchase of a 20% stake in Pakistan’s MBC Bank;
* RM 1.6 billion purchase of 12 Eurocopter’s Cougar helicopters without conducting any test flights;
* RM 5.2 billion loss of investment by the Ministry of Finance and Khazanah Nasional’s in a wafer fabrication subsidiary, Silterra Malaysia Sdn Bhd. Silterra’s shareholder capital have been reduced from RM5 billion to only RM798 million in 2006. With losses of RM1 billion in the financial year 2007, Silterra is insolvent and yet new funds of RM 8.5 billion are being sought; and
* RM 11.3 billion for the High Speed Broadband (HSBP) project without open tender.

I am sure Sdr Wong Ho Leng and Sdr Chong Chien Jen can tell you of worse scandals in Sarawak. That is why it is so important for DAP to win to seek political equality and freedoms, equal economic opportunities and socio-economic justice.

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