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‘No one is above the law’

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Taib Mahmud TaibPETALING JAYA: Transparency International Malaysia president Paul Low reminded politicians not to act with impunity as no one is above the law.

“A leader is voted into power due to the confidence the people have on the person. In that sense, the elected leader must act in a righteous manner,” he said.

He was responding to Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud Taib’s statement that MACC did not deserve his cooperation, claiming the anti-graft body had been “naughty and dishonest with him”

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“Let them investigate if they want to victimise me,” Taib had said after attending the Barisan Nasional presidential council meeting at PWTC.

Yesterday, Malaysiakini reported that MACC director of investigation Mustafar Ali refused to comment on Taib’s statement, giving rise to speculation that the anti-graft body was powerless to act against the Sarawak chief minister.

Low, in defence of MACC, assured the public that as a law enforcement agency, the anti-graft body had the power and independence to investigate anyone as stipulated by law.

“So whether Taib cooperates with MACC or not, the anti-graft body will conduct an investigation. The people need not be concerned about it,” he said.

Low also urged MACC not to engage in verbal tussle with Taib.

“It’s counter-productive to have a war of words with Taib. I believe MACC will act without fear and favour,” he said.

Last month, foreign-based NGO Global Witness made an exposé on the alleged corrupt practices involving those linked to Taib pertaining to the sale of native customary land in Sarawak.

In the video documentary, Global Witness posed as a foreign investor seeking to buy land for oil palm plantations in the East Malaysian state.

The ensuing interviews, caught by a hidden camera, detailed how the sale process would be handled, how the natives would be dealt with, taxes avoided and how “personal kickbacks” would allegedly be paid to those linked to Taib.

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