Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Open letter to MACC advisory members

The following in an open letter to 41 members of MACC advisory board, committee and panels from the director of think-tank Centre for Policy Initiatives.

Dear honourable men and women of the MACC advisory board, committee and panels,

A young and promising life was snuffed out too early and in the most unacceptable and suspicious of circumstances. It happened under your watch in the MACC.

I am not sure whether you are fully aware of the extent of public outrage that this tragic death has provoked. It is an outpouring which cuts across all groups and communities.

Much of this outpouring has been expressed over the blogs and websites. As usual, the mainstream media has not fully reported on the public revulsion and anger.

Just as important to note is that many Malaysians have lost faith in the MACC. It is not only the MACC that they have no confidence in. It is also the so-called watchdog advisory board, committees and panels - which you are all members of - that the public has expressed strong and negative feelings towards.

I myself have lost faith with the MACC and I must also declare here, with the advisory bodies which you are members of.

I know some of you personally – a few for many years now. Because you are honourable people and had good intentions when you agreed to serve, I strongly feel that the only way for you to redeem that lost honour and integrity when Teoh Beng Hock died under the custody of the MACC, is for you all to resign en bloc.

I know that it may prove difficult for you to resign all alone by yourself given the long and vindictive reach of our political authorities in dealing with individual dissent.

But as a group, that decision to resign should be a lot easier.

Not only will you redeem that lost honour and integrity when you resign but your decision will – in my view – impact positively on the political consciousness of the nation at large.

With your decision, we can console ourselves that during this period of finger pointing and blame deflecting, there is a group of leaders that is willing to shoulder responsibility personally when things they are entrusted with go horribly wrong.

I hope you realise that it cannot be business as usual for the MACC advisory bodies. These bodies have lost that credibility and the public trust which is crucial in carrying out the mission of reform they were entrusted with.

For now, much of public perception is that the MACC's Advisory Board, Special Committee on Corruption, Complaints Committee, Operations Review Panel and the Corruption Consultation and Prevention Panel are merely serving as fig leaves attempting to cover up or justify the political agenda of an untrustworthy and disreputable agency. [See list below]

The longer you stay as members of the MACC advisory board, panels and committees, the more you risk your good name.

Retaining ties with MACC is to condone its unacceptable practices which have resulted in a tragic death. Decency calls that you consult your conscience and sever these ties immediately.

Do the right thing now – please resign.

DR LIM TECK GHEE is director of think-tank Centre for Policy Initiatives. He was senior social scientist at the World Bank and has served in various advisory and consultative bodies such as the National Economic Consultative Council and the National Unity Board.

Anti-Corruption Advisory Board members

Abdul Hamid Mohamad
Amar Hamid Bugo
Dr Mohd Kamal Hassan
Mohamed Jawhar Hassan
Simon Sipaun
Zaiton Zawiyah Puteh
Rashpal Singh Jeswant Singh
Yong Poh Kon
Anwar Fazal
Dr Khoo Kay Kim
Chelvarajah Ramasamy Reddiar

Special committee on corruption

Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad
Razali Ibrahim
Abdul Rahman Dahlan
Dr Tan Seng Giaw
Salahuddin Ayub
Zamri Yusuf
Armani Mahirudin

Complaints committee

Mohd Nor Abdullah
Muhammad Mohd Noor
Wan Abdul Wahab Abdullah
Chooi Mun Sau
Ravindran V Muthu

Operations review panel

Dr Hadenan Abdul Jalil
Cecil Abraham
Nik Mohd Hasyudeen Yusoff
Walter Sandosam
Aminah Pit Abd Raman
Md Hamzah Md Kassim
Dr Syed Noh Syed Ahmad

Corruption consultation and prevention panel

Ramon Navaratnam
Dr Abdul Rahman Embong
Dr Zainal Abidin Abdul Majid
David Chua
Wong Chun Wai
Kamaruddin Zakaria
Nordin Kardi
Prof Dr Ishak Tambi Kechik
Azman Ujang
Anis Yusal Yusoff
Robert Phang Miow Sin

[Source: Malaysiakini]

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