BY: AKMAL NASIR
Several media have reported the statement by Datuk Bahri Mohd Zin, a former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) senior officer, saying that he chose to retire early due to his disappointment with the law that only catches small time offenders while major ones get away scot-free.
It was even more shocking that he openly admitted to having information on “all the bribers and bribe-takers”.
This is a serious accusation against the MACC, as though they are not able to combat corruption. This is also a challenge to the integrity of the Prime Minister Dato ‘Seri Najib Razak’s administration.
Referring to the cases of corruption, money leakages, wastage and misappropriation, which were very serious in 2016 as reported in various scandal disclosures in the Auditor General’s report or in the NOW Government Wastages Index, these indirectly provide the foundation that may allow Datuk Bahri’s confessions to be probably true.
For the sake of the truth, in efforts to fight corruption and clean up the good name of his administration, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak should accept Datuk Bahri’s confessions with an open heart and take the bold actions of namely:-
- Acknowledge Datuk Bahri as a whistle-blower. This includes protecting him as stipulated in the Whistle-blower Protection Act (2012), to enable him to tell the truth and disclose the names of the giver and receiver of bribes.
- To enable Datuk Bahri to prove his information, Dato’ Seri Najib should declassify
the related documents which are now under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
- Individuals named by Datuk Bahri as bribe givers or recipients, should be called and given the opportunity to defend themselves openly. This can be done by referring them to a Parliamentary special committee or by setting up a special Commission to investigate the information disclosed.
This is an excellent opportunity for Dato ‘Seri Najib Razak to restore the integrity of his administration in the fight against corruption. If his administration fails to take appropriate action following Datuk Bahri’s revelations, the public will continue to lose confidence in his administration’s efforts to fight corruption and mismanagement.
* AKMAL NASIR is National Oversight and Whistleblowers (NOW) Executive Director.