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Sunday, February 22, 2009

> MACC - Barisan lapdog

Karpal lodging police report with envelope of live bullets - Starpic.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Ahmad Said Hamdan has violated the rule of law by a issuing public prejudgment that "there was strong and good evidence" against Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim in alleged wrongdoing in the maintenance of a luxury car and purchase of sacrificial cows.

In taking Ahmad to task over his statement yesterday, DAP national chairperson Karpal Singh today demanded that the MACC chief publicly clarify the basis on which such public disclosure on the findings of a graft investigation were released before prosecution was even instituted.

"It’s a prejudgment that the MACC chief must explain immediately. I will bring up the matter in Parliament if he fails to do so," warned the Bukit Gelugor MP, a lawyer by training, at his office in Georgetown.

"Ahmad’s public statement would compromise and jeorpadise Abdul Khalid’s case," he stressed.

Yesterday Ahmad Said claimed that the MACC had strong evidence against Abdul Khalid, and that the case had been referred to the Attorney-General’s chambers for further action.

He also said even though the MACC has prosecution powers, the case was forwarded to AG’s chambers because it involved a VIP.

Karpal today rebuked Ahmad for lacking the necessary knowledge on the very law that governs the MACC, which arguably does not bestow any prosecution powers on the commission.

He pointed out that Section 58 of the new Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission Act clearly states that, "A prosecution for an offence under this Act shall not be instituted except by or with the consent of the Public Prosecutor".

By virtue of Section 58, Karpal noted that the the power of prosecution had not been vested with the MACC and it could only be done with consent from the AG’s chambers.

"It’s shocking the MACC chief did not know about Section 58. It exposes his incompetence," said Karpal, who also questioned MACC’s double standard enforcement and selective prosecution.

VK Lingam case forgotten?

He called on Ahmad to initiate further action into the VK Lingam case, in which a Royal Commission inquiry had found strong evidence revealing misuse of powers and conflict of interests.

He questioned why even after a year, MACC was yet to charge anyone in connection with the VK Lingam case, while the commission had been "so efficient" in handling Abdul Khalid’s case.

Karpal also chided former Selangor Menteri Besar Mohd Khir Toyo for suggesting that Abdul Khalid should resign if he were to be charged in court for graft.

"Under the law, one is innocent until proven guilty. So I don’t think Abdul Khalid needs to step down as menteri besar here," he told newsmen.

Earlier, police officer ASP Ismail Jamaluddin recorded Karpal’s statement over the live bullets and life-threatening note sent to his home in Jalan Utama, Georgetown, on Thursday.

The police interview, which lasted some 80 minutes, was conducted following the DAP leader’s police report lodged at the Jalan Penang police station yesterday - Malaysiakini.