Thursday, December 2, 2021

Anwar turns to ex-AG over claims ruling MPs spared from 1MDB charges

The PKR president meets MACC chief Azam Baki on the back of claims that his party's MPs are being induced to cross over to the ruling bloc.

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Anwar Ibrahim today urged former attorney-general Tommy Thomas to explain why Umno MPs who jumped to Bersatu during the Pakatan Harapan administration were spared prosecution despite being accused of receiving 1MDB funds.

This follows the PKR president’s meeting with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today, where he said he was told by its chief commissioner Azam Baki that the agency had conducted a transparent investigation before the AG at that time decided not to press charges.

Anwar said he was not satisfied with the answer, adding that both the former and current AGs must respond to his claim that those supporting the government were spared charges.

“This was an open secret. Same case, same facts, those who remained in the opposition were charged, those who jumped were let off,” he told reporters after meeting Azam at the MACC headquarters.

The meeting comes on the back of Anwar’s claims that MACC is among several government agencies being used to blackmail opposition MPs into crossing over.

Anwar said he told Azam that a former minister had been given the assurance by a “senior minister” that he would be freed from any corruption investigation if he crossed over.

“The chief commissioner and his officers gave the guarantee that they remain independent and transparent and would not cover up any case if there is indeeed corruption,” Anwar told reporters today.

“MACC says it is not true, and that the probe is ongoing,” he said.

Anwar is believed to be referring to former PKR vice-president and Kuala Langat MP Xavier Jayakumar, who recently quit the party to become an independent friendly to the government.

MACC recently arrested Xavier’s political secretary and associates close to the former minister, in an operation which also saw more than RM70 million frozen in several company accounts.

In a statement, Azam said Anwar had brought up several issues during their meeting today.

“I gave my assurance that MACC as an agency monitored by five independent panels will act professionally according to the rule of law and the authority vested in the commission.

“MACC also appreciates the support of Anwar in efforts to eradicate corruption in the country.”

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