Aliran notes with concern a social media report of an incident where a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officer apparently reacted harshly towards farmers and members of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) when they turned up at the MACC office in Putrajaya to lodge a report.
Aliran is appalled that an officer of a government agency could react so arrogantly towards those coming to a government office for a legitimate purpose. We understand that a few of the officer’s colleagues apparently apologised later on his behalf. But this is not enough.
Government officers must remember what their role is and who they are meant to serve. As officers entrusted to serve the public, they are expected to be always courteous and professional when carrying out their duties.
They also have a duty to exercise their powers responsibly. They need to explain clearly and calmly their agency’s protocol to members of the public – that is, if a breach of protocol had indeed occurred.
That said, it would be a contradiction if an anti-corruption agency has protocols that make it difficult for the public to have easy access to investigating officers.
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Whom do such protocols protect? Wouldn’t such protocols, coupled with official antagonism, discourage others from making reports against powerful vested interests?
Public trust in the MACC had already been shaken by several episodes, including the death of Teoh Beng Hock and, more recently, allegations of conflict of interest involving the MACC chief.
Is this how we intend to move the country out of the abyss it finds itself in?
Aliran urges the MACC to investigate the incident thoroughly and take action to ensure that something like this never happens again.
In the spirit of “keluarga Malaysia” (Malaysian family), the MACC should also apologise to those on the receiving end of the officer’s outburst.
We also urge the MACC to thoroughly probe the substance of the reports that the complainants raised regarding the disposal of state land.Aliran executive committee
22 April 2022