The right to ask and know the truth
It’s unfortunate that even after 24 hours, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and its chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki are still tight-lipped on allegations that he as well as other top officials have personal interests in certain activities at hand.
The public, civil society and the mass media has been demanding an explanation from Azam but he remains silent.
What’s worse is that this is not MACC’s first scandal which has continuously been unanswered and ignored by the chief.
The issue is easy.
If they did not breach their responsibilities, they should just go on the record and say so.
In this day and age, being transparent is the best formula.
The decision to keep quiet has led to the resignation of Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel Professor Dr Edmund Terence Gomez, which has also become the talk of town.
Gomez did not act carelessly. He did it based on facts he had at hand in which he believed was a serious matter that needed to be addressed.
The biggest problem with MACC is that it’s an agency that functions based on integrity. If its core fundamental have been breached and ignored, whatever they do are pointless.
In other words, it has lost its credibility and the eligibility to conduct the tasks effectively. Why so? Because many people has lost their trust and faith in them.
Thus, integrity is crucial for MACC in continuing its role and tasks in eradicating corruption.
In this latest case, the information obtained by Gomez needs to be confirmed as to whether MACC’s top leadership are involved in any activities that can cause conflict of interest.
Silence from the alleged party is not a smart move as it makes them look even more suspicious and cast more doubts among the public.
People are seeking for the truth as they have placed their trust in Azam and his team to weed out those in the wrong.
They only ask for MACC to practice what they preach; to be transparent and not to participate in questionable as well as conflicting activities.
We’ve had enough corruption and money laundering activities in the country already, we don’t want those who are suppose to fight these crimes be the ones doing it too. As the Malay saying goes, "harapkan pagar, pagar makan tadi".
If they continue keeping their mouths shut, it will only cause more restlessness. What is happening in MACC until they are acting this way? Word has it that conflicting interests is not something new in the commission but has been widespread even in the “old MACC”.
Not only that, in involves many groups.
Information are truly at the end of our fingertips thus issues relating to integrity and leadership of any agencies, institutions or organisation could be be easily questioned.
When it happens, the best solution is to response with the truth.
There is nothing to fear if you did not do anything wrong. This will instead clear your name and we will all be able to move forward with life as usual.
However, if you remain silent, how long can you actually avoid the matter and run away from the public’s eye? There will be a time where you would still need to face it.
Rozaid Rahman is the editor-in-chief for Sinar Harian and Sinar Daily.