The Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission started off as a unit called Special Crimes Unit of the Royal Malaysian Police’s Criminal Investigation Department back in the 1960s. I am sorry to disappoint many youngsters but yes,corruption did not just happen yesterday. In 1967, a body called the Badan Pencegah Rasuah was formed and police officers from the Special Crimes unit were seconded to this new outfit.
In 1973, the BPR was again restructured and was called the Biro Siasatan Negara, only to be restructured in 1982 and renamed the Badan Pencegah Rasuah. Among the police officers seconded to the BPR was the late Mohd Jamil Mohd Said, brother-in-law of the late Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department the late Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Othman. Jamil, a no-nonsense God-fearing disciplinarian knew a lot about the going-ons in the early 1980s administration.
Wan Saiful Wan Jan, the opposition-leaning CEO of IDEAS was reported as saying that Datuk Mustafar Ali, currently number three in the MACC, should replace Abu Kassim upon the latter’s retirement. Parachuting an outsider, said Wan Saiful, would only disrupt the transformation of the Commission.
History is very important sonthat we can learn from the past. The MACC in its current form is an organisation that is being looked at with doubt and distrust. It was not that long ago when we saw a charge sheet being drafted BEFORE a statement was obtained from Prime Minister Najib. Yet in the Lim Guan Eng case, the MACC took its own sweet time to investigate and had it not been for public pressure, Lim Guan Eng would still be walking around like the Emperor he believes he is. Not only that, leaked documents suggest that they have come from various sources including the MACC. If this is true, there is a serious erosion of integrity amongst the MACC officers. Parachuting an “outsider” would probably create resentment, but it would also bring about reform and not just transformation.
In 1993, a senior police director was parachuted into the Prisons Department and everyone in the prisons organisation resented that. But Tan Sri Zaman Khan (then Datuk) managed to transform the department into a much more efficient organisation because the change in leadership saw officers with potential whom were kept beneath the radar finally came out with brilliant ideas on how to reform and transform the organisation. It was during Zaman’s tenure that the management of prisoners became better, prison conditions began to get better, and the idea for allowing parole was mooted. Two years after taking office, Zaman, got the Prisons Act 1995 effected.
One of the two persons tipped to become the next MACC chief is Tan Sri Noor Rashid, the current Deputy Inspector General of Police. Like the late Jamil Said and Zaman, Noor Rashid is another no-nonsense senior police officer who rose through the ranks while being in the Criminal Investigation Department, the origin of the MACC. He would be the most suitable candidate to replace Abu Kassim in my opinion.
When I took over my squadron in 1993, I signed 96 transfer forms on the first day of taking office because of organisational requirements and told those who think that they cannot work with me to do the same. In the end I was left with just 30 non-commissioned officers and junior ranks to do the job of 126. But I had 30 excellent men and women working for me.
Perhaps it is time for the MACC to have a new boss to give it a good shaking-up. Those who resent having an outsider as a boss should leave or learn to adapt. Hopefully we will get to see a more efficient and trustworthy MACC soon.