THE Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Centre) is extremely concerned by the decision of the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to seek a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) for former federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor over his RM1 million corruption case.In this case, Adnan was charged with receiving RM1 million from businessman Tan Eng Boon to approve an application by Nucleus Properties Sdn Bhd (now known as Paragon City Development Sdn Bhd) to increase the industrial plot ratio of a piece of land on Jalan Semarak.According to the deputy public prosecutor (DPP), Julia Ibrahim, instructions were given by the AGC to seek the DNAA due to “new developments” involving a witness in the case that warranted further investigation. The AGC will await the outcome of the investigation before deciding future action on the charge. However, no deadline has been given for the investigation as the AGC does not “know how long the investigation may take.” This decision raises several urgent questions that the AGC must answer to the public:What are these “new developments” that must be investigated further?Why should these “new developments” justify the request for a DNAA?Why did the AGC choose to withdraw the case instead of allowing the court an opportunity to make a decision? Why has no deadline been given for the investigation?Why is the AGC vague about whether this case will be pursued after the investigation is concluded?C4 Centre would like to remind the AGC that this is a corruption case involving a highly scandalised public official. There is no place for opaqueness or vague statements that cast doubt on the AGC’s pursuit of the corruption charge.How can this entire case simply be withdrawn due to “new developments”, when Tan Eng Boon himself has pleaded guilty to abetting Adnan to solicit a bribe of RM1 million? Though part of the executive, the AGC must always show independence and fearlessness in the pursuit of justice, even if it may be against a member of the government of the day.The Malaysian public demands answers. We have already seen several high-profile corruption cases simply fizzling out in the past year, notably Najib Razak’s stepson, Riza Aziz, being granted a DNAA on five counts of money laundering over US$248 million (RM1 billion), and former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman’s abrupt acquittal of 46 corruption charges.This must not be allowed to happen again.It is imperative for the administration of justice and public confidence that the AGC be relentless in its pursuit of corruption charges against public officials. Malaysia’s marked improvement in last year’s Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI) will suffer greatly if our anti-corruption efforts continue to regress, especially if the public does not receive clear answers for why a DNAA was sought in this corruption charge against Adnan.C4 Centre urges Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to focus on much needed reforms to save Malaysia from sliding down this slippery slope – one we have spent much of the past three years trying to climb. – December 7, 2020.* This is a statement by C4 Centre. * This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.
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