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Friday, August 21, 2009

> MACC under arson attack

The Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission came under attack from unknown persons when a vehicle belonging to the commission was torched early today.

Six Molotov cocktails were thrown at the two-month old Klang MACC office early this morning, destroying a four-wheel-drive vehicle belonging to the Selangor MACC.

The attack was confirmed by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Aziz when he mentioned it in his speech while presenting the Excellence Awards to MACC officers at Putrajaya today

Eye-witnesses said that MACC officers only realised the damage to the vehicle when they reported to work this morning.

The vehicle, a gold coloured Nissan X-Trail, is usually used by the MACC officers while on duty.

A police report has been lodged over the arson attack and Klang police chief ACP Mohamad Mat Yusop said the incident happened at about 2 to 3am but there were no witnesses.

"Police believe the assailants had scaled down the slope behind the building and thrown the Molotov cocktails from outside the fence. The impact of the attack damaged a portion of the vehicle," he was quoted by Bernama.

He added that the attack was the first of its kind at the office and believed the incident was linked to political aide Teoh Beng Hock's death at the Selangor MACC headquarters in Shah Alam on July 16.

The Klang MACC office started operations two months ago but has not been officially opened due to bad publicity received by the commission after Teoh's death.

Underworld connections obvious

Attending a press conference in Putrajaya later, Nazri did not rule out "underworld connection" to the arson attack.

He said that it was well known that the Selangor MACC was investigating claims that some state exco members had links with the underworld, as alleged by Wangsa Maju PKR MP Wee Choo Keong.

"If there was no investigation on the underworld links, this would never have happened. This goes to show what Wee had suggested exists," said Nazri.

"Such attacks are usually done by cowards...and samseng (gangsters) only," he added.

Meanwhile, MACC chief Ahmad Said Hamdan who was also present in the press conference confirmed that four Molotov cocktails have been thrown at the branch office and it "was enough to burn the whole building".

He said only one official vehicle was damaged badly.

The attack was a threat to scare off his officers, he added.

"But this will not deter us from performing our duty," he said.
MACC Advisory Panel member Robert Phang has condemned the attack and asked for patience from everyone for the commission to put its house in order.

"This is not our culture. Let's not take that path. This is what differentiates Malaysia from so many other countries. Agree to disagree," he told Malaysiakini in Kota Kinabalu - Malaysiakini.