PKR today weighed in on the dispute between the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Attorney General's Chambers over the latter's decision to delay charging two former officers of a former minister.

The party's strategic director Rafizi Ramli said this clearly showed why it was important for MACC to be given the power to prosecute, to fight graft effectively.

Rafiz said it was pointless for the MACC to only have investigation powers when the decision to charge a suspect was left in the hands of the attorney general.

"The MACC may have a water-tight case but is frustrated when the discretion to prosecute is in the hands of the AG who is also the public prosecutor," he said at a news conference at the party headquarters today.

He said this in response to the MACC advisory panel, which expressed concern over speculation in the media regarding two former officers of a former minister who were not charged last week, despite an announcement earlier that the two will be charged with misappropriation of funds.

MACC consultation and corruption prevention advisory panel chairman Datuk Johan Jaaffar had said that it was concerned with this development as it could lead to public speculation or perception of outside interference.

In a statement to Bernama, the panel strongly felt that in the interest of transparency, the Attorney General's Chambers owed the public an explanation on why the two former officers were not charged.

Rafizi said Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail must come clean and give his approval that the suspects be charged without any delay.

"All eyes will be on Gani as the case has generated so much publicity and interest."

Rafizi, who is also Pandan MP, however, said the Federal Constitution needed to be amended to give MACC prosecutorial power as such authority currently rest only on the AG.

"I share the frustration of the MACC for I believe they have a good case to secure a conviction. That is why they made an announcement that two suspects will be charged but nothing happened after that."

He said the charges should be framed to allow the prosecution to reveal all evidence and for the accused to have their day in court.

Rafizi said the entire episode now gave the impression that the AG practised selective prosecution.

The Malaysian Insider reported yesterday of speculation of political intervention or selective prosecution over the delay in charging a former Umno political secretary arrested last Monday for misappropriating RM1.1 million from three foundations.

Quoting sources, The Malaysian Insider reported that the former political aide and a director of one of the foundations were linked to investigations that money for the poor had been diverted for political purposes.

In response to the article, the 11-member MACC panel further issued a statement strongly opposing any interference, political or otherwise, to MACC's efforts to fight corruption as this could erode public confidence in the commission or the AG's Chambers, as well as Putrajaya.

The MACC, in its statement last week,  had said the ex-political secretary with a datukship, and a director of one of the foundations headed by the Datuk, would be charged with criminal breach of trust involving more the RM1.1 million and another charge of alleged cheating involving RM1 million. They were to have been charged at the Kuala Lumpur's Sessions Court.

The duo were arrested by MACC and were released on RM50,000 bail each.

The three foundations which the duo was said to have cheated, were set up between the 1980s and 2011, but were not registered as welfare organisations or societies.

Instead, they were operating as companies with limited liability. MACC said both men held the positions of directors and members of the board and the funds were withdrawn from the accounts.

Source: TheMalaysianInsider