GEORGE TOWN: Was there a lack of enthusiasm on the part of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to prosecute two former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) assemblymen once they became Barisan Nasional friendly independent state assemblymen?
Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng asked if there was also an element of persecution by the MACC when the duo Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu, 58 (Changkat Jering) and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, 53 (Behrang) were PKR lawmakers.
Lim directed the question at MACC and sought answers on why the corruption charges against the duo especially were dropped without their defence being called on Friday, April 23 by the Ipoh Sessions Court.
Judge Azhaniz Azman acquitted the duo and three others without their defence being called, saying the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against them.
While facing corruption charges, Mohd Osman and Jamaluddin had quit PKR in February last year with DAP state representative Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang) which led to the fall of the Pakatan Rakyat state government in Perak.
Incidentally, Hee was conferred a Datukship earlier this week by Perak Sultan Raja Azlan Shah.
The other three were PKR politician Usaili Alias, 56, former Perak Tengah district councillor Zul Hassan, 46, and contractor Fairul Azrim Ismail, 31.
The charges against the five involved 16 counts of corruption accepting bribes of between RM400 and RM100,000 related to the RM180 million Seri Iskandar development project in Perak.
“Would the MACC appeal against the court decision? Was the lack of enthusiasm on the MACC’s part as far as prosecution was concerned and selective prosecution since the duo were not in the opposition anymore?
“Are Malaysians surprised with these developments?” Lim asked.
The prosecution was conducted by Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Abdul Razak Musa, who is Malaysian MACC legal and prosecution division director while the accused were represented by Surjan Singh, Abdul Roni Abdul Rahman, M Saravanan and Mohd Asri Othman.
Mohd Shahrullah Khan Nawab Zadah Khan, who assisted Abdul Razak, said the MACC would appeal against the decision.
Emphasising that he was not commenting on the court judgment, Lim said MACC had a lot of explaining to do.
“They must explain to the public how these charges came about in the first place if the evidence was not substantial in the first place.
The MACC must ensure that there is no other consideration which had come into place when the corruption charges were leveled against them, including political leanings.
“There is no point talking about corruption when the MACC cannot measure up to exacting standards.
“This would definitely not augur well for Malaysia’s standings under the Transparency International’s corruption perception index,” Lim said.-The Edge