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Wednesday, 4 January 2017

MACC Has Its Eyes On civil servants with lavish lifestyles

Image result for azam baki
Dato Azam Baki

MACC eyeing civil servants with lavish lifestyles

THE STAR

 

PUTRAJAYA: Civil servants who fly abroad in business class to play golf and have liaisons with girlfriends and mistresses – those are the people the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) now has it eyes on.
“These are indicators of officials who are corrupt and abusing their powers,” deputy chief commissioner Datuk Azam Baki, who is in charge of operations, said.
“There is nothing wrong with playing golf. I also play it.
But some of these officers travel abroad to play golf and take with them a large group, which includes contractors.
“These activities need to stop as it is painting a bad image of the civil service,” he said, adding that the focus would be on high-ranking civil servants handling procurement and enforcement.
Azam said the two areas were a “high tendency” towards corruption.
“In 2017, our investigation operations need to focus on the public sector and government-linked companies, as well as banking institutions.
“I spoke to a professor from the UK, and he said corruption in the civil service there is still a big issue. That’s an advanced nation. What can we say about a developing nation like ours?
“Due to the current economic situation, the Government is aiming to reduce leakages, and procurement and enforcement are areas where leakages often occur,” said Azam, in an interview with MACC.fm, the commission’s online radio service yesterday.
Azam, who was in October promoted to his current post from being the investigations director, revealed the “characteristics” of corrupt civil servants on the special radio interview.
The indications include “civil servants who lead luxurious lives, have mistresses, play golf and frequently travel abroad, taking their whole family with them and fly business class”.
MACC commissioner Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad had also said in a recent interview that civil servants with a habit of playing golf overseas were being monitored.
On the commission’s success in several high-profile cases in 2016, Azam credited it to the commission’s use of “intelligence-based investigation” in the past few years.
“We have intelligence officers who collect information over the years, and this helped us solve many vital cases.
“In 2016, among our biggest cases were the bauxite mining case in Pahang, the Ministry of Youth and Sports case and of course, the Sabah Water Department case, which was the biggest anti-corruption haul since Independence,” he said.

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