Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, when speaking at the meeting of the DAP Selangor/Federal Territory Elections Preparations Sub-Committee held at DAP KL Office at 63D Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 19th October 1977 at 7.30 p.m.
DAP to move a private member’s bill on Oct. 24 to establish the NBI as an Independence Agency answerable only to Parliament to free it from political or Ministerial influence so that it could energetically combat corruption at high political places
I have given notice to move a private member’s bill when Parliament begins on next Monday, Oct. 24, to amend the NBI Act to establish the NBI as an independent agency answerable only to Parliament, so that it will be free from political or Ministerial influence or interference so as to be able to deal with the basic problem of corruption in Malaysia – corruption in high public place.
Unless corruption at high public places are stamped out vigorously, corruption in Malaysia will remain the national cancer.
Since the establishment of the NBI, it was been put under the responsibility of a Minister, firstly the Prime Minister himself, and from Jan. 1976, the Attorney-General’s Department. This is most unsatisfactory for this means that the NBI is not fully independent, but must await the political approval of the Minister in charge before proceeding to prosecute corrupt political leaders.
If the NBI has completed its investigations, and satisfies itself that there is a strong case or even prima facie case for prosecution, it should go ahead and prosecute without any need to await for ‘green light’ from any Minister or Deputy Minister. This is what is happening now. In fact, recently, the NBI announced that it had completed its investigations into the Nothrop F-E jetfight million-dollar purchase case, and was waiting for ‘greenlight’ from above. Several days later, a former wing commander was charged in court. But the question that bothers public mind is why should the NBI await for ‘green light’ to go ahead and prosecute, when it has completed investigations and satisfied itself that there is a case to do so?
There is now public disappointment with the performance of NBI, for the people see all around them corrupt practices but which the NBI seem to have great difficulty in seeing and even in initiating investigations. In cases where the NBI has initiated investigations, so many of them prove to be inconclusive.
There is a need to restore public confidence in the NBI and this can only be done by establishing the NBI as an independent body answerable only to Parliament.
Sometime at the end of 1975, the now Acting UMNO Youth Leader, Haji Suhaimi bin Kamaruddin, spoke in Parliament of the need to have an ndependent NBI. Bow that I am moving this private member’s bill, I hope Haji Suhaimi himself, and the UMNO Youth in particular, can come out in support of this motion of mine to establish the NBI as a fully independent agency not under the control of any Ministry but directly answerable to Parliament.