Ahmad Zaki should be censured by Parliament if he is not prepared to report on progress of  investigations into allegations that Anwar Ibrahim had amassed a fortune of RM3 billion through 20 "Master Accounts" while in government or clear Anwarís name

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): The statement by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) Director-General, Datuk Ahmad Zaki Hussin in Langkawi on Thursday that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had not interfered in any corruption case nor had he stopped any anti-corruption  investigation is so self-serving that its effect is only to greatly undermine rather than to enhance the  image, credibility, independence and integrity  of the ACA.

Ahmad Zaki has only been director-general of the ACA for slightly over  a year and he is therefore totally incompetent and unqualified to talk about the ACAís past 32 years, especially as he himself did not rise from the ACA ranks and was appointed to the top post  from outside the service.

Ahmad Zaki was clearly referring to the  recent court testimony by his predecessor, former ACA director-general, Datuk Shafee Yahya who told the  Anwar Ibrahim trial that  Mahathir had personally ordered the ACA in June 1998  to drop an investigation  into the then Economic Planning Unit director-general, Tan Sri  Ali Abul Hassan Sulaiman, who was later appointed Bank Negara Governor, after the agency raided Aliís office  and found a large sum of money.

Shafee said Mahathir   called him up after the raid and  he  was "told off". The Prime Ministerís words were: "How dare you raid my senior officer's office?", accused him of "trying to fix" the official and wanted to know whether he had acted under the instruction of Anwar.

Ahmad Zaki was reported as saying in Langkawi on Thursday that all this while various parties had made comments and criticisms of the ACA at political ceramah, in the media, Internet, Parliament and the courts during cases prosecuted by the ACA.

He said:  "If they can do so, why canít the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad), who is the head of government, give advice, comment and criticism about the ACA if he thinks what we do is improper?"

Is Ahmad Zaki  claiming that it is proper for the Prime Minister to ring up the ACA director-general to express anger and outrage that his senior officer had been raided and to order the ACA to drop investigations?

Ahmad Zaki clearly is in no position to have any personal knowledge about Shafeeís serious allegation. However,  it is a sad commentary on his credibility, independence and integrity  as the ACA director-general that he dared not even say that if Mahathir had done what Shafee had alleged, the Prime Minister had committed not only a gross impropriety and abused his office, but committed a corruption offence under the law of the land!

In his first year in office, Ahmad Zaki had given the public the impression that the ACA was nothing more than a political tool to be used in the Mahathir-Anwar Ibrahim battle, as illustrated by the alacrity with which the ACA acted on the allegations by the former Bank Negara assistant governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid in  his statutory declaration in  October 1998 that  Anwar had amassed a fortune of RM3 billion while in government through 20 "Master Accounts".

Although Murad did not  produce a single shred of evidence to subtantiate his very serious allegations, the  ACA swung into action with Ahmad Zaki announcing the setting up of a special team to investigate  into Muradís allegations against Anwar headed by the agency's Investigations Division director Abdul Razak Idris.

In the run-up to the dissolution of Parliament and the holding of general elections, the ACA was making almost  daily statements about investigations into Anwar on the basis of Muradís statutory declaration, with Ahmad Zaki declaring that "almost every paragraph of Muradís seven-page  statutory declaration contained some information on corruption or corruption practices".

It is now more than eight months since the establishment of the special ACA team to investigate into Muradís allegations against Anwar, and the ACA should report to Parliament next week on progress made with regard to the  allegations that Anwar Ibrahim had amassed a fortune of RM3 billion while in government through 20 "Master Accounts".

If the ACA had not made any progress whatsoever, then it is time Ahmad Zaki start redeeming the image, credibility and integrity of the ACA and do justice to Anwar by openly clearing the former Deputy Prime Minister of Muradís allegations.

If Ahmad Zaki is not prepared either to report to  Parliament on progress made in the investitgations  or clear Anwar of Muradís allegations of having amassed RM3 billion through 20 "Masterr Accounts", then the ACA director-general should be censured in Parliament for compromising the  credibility, independence and integrity of the ACA by allowing himself to be made a political tool of the ruling parties.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman