By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday , January 25th, 1994:
DAP calls on Attorney-General to make public the comprehensive draft for a new anti-corruption law submitted by the ACA in 1992 as a basis for review of anti corruption laws
Anti-corruption Agency Director – General , Tan Sri Zulkitli Mahmood said in Langkawi yesterday that the MCA would review the Anti-Corruption Act 1961 to identify the outmoded sections so as ‘to move with the times’.
This is a timely , proper and positive reaction by the ACA to the announcement last week by the Prime Minister , Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad , that the Government would study various aspects of the law governing corruption and identify weaknesses in the present system.
In actual fact , the ACA had already carried out a comprehensive survey of the anti – corruption laws in the country and in mid-1992 had presented the Attorney-General’s Chambers with a comprehensive draft for a new anti-corruption law which would provide ‘real teeth’ to the war against corruption by providing for increased powers for the ACA and enhanced penalties for corruption offences.
This was announced by nine other than Tan Sri Zulkitli Mahmood in 1992 who had expressed the hope that the ACA ‘s draft comprehensive anti-corruption law, which would also consolidate the Prevention of Corruption Act 1962 and the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance no 22 could be tabled in Parliamentary by before the end of 1992.
For instance , in an interview with Nanyang Siang Pao on 25 th June 1992 , Tan Sri Zulkilti said that the ACA had completed drafting a new anti-corruption law which would broaden anti-corruption powers and scope , including investigating entities which had been privatized by the Government like MAS , TELEKOS and TENAGA NASIONAL.
He said that under the existing prevention of Corruption Act , ACA lacked adequate powers to investigate malpractices in the entities privatized by the government . with the privatization government agencies which had previously come under the perview of the ACA , and the new Anti-corruption law would expand it powers to plug this loophole.
However , the ACA ‘s draft new comprehemsive anti-corruption bill which give the Agency adequate powers to fight corruption never saw the light of day and was buried in the Attornet-General ‘s Chambers.
When DAP MPs asked about it in Parliament last year ,the Government gave contradictory answers. At first , the Parliamentary Secretary In the Prime Minister ‘s Department , Othman Abdul said the Government had never received such a draft bill from the ACA. Later the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister ‘s Department , Datuk Wong See Wah , said that the government had rejected such a draft bill from the ACA as it regarded the existing anti-corruption laws as adequate.
DAP proposes All Party Parliamentary Committee to get a new Anti-Corruption Bill to Parliament in April
However , the new Deputy Prime Minister , Datuk Seri Anwar ‘ Ibrahim in the last week of Parliament last month gave a different answer .
In reply to my query when winding up the debate on the Mid-Term Review of the Sixth Malaysia Plan , Anwar said that the Government was prepared to consider proposals by the ACA for increased powers and higher penalties in the fight against corruption .
As the ACA had already prepared a new comprehensive anti-corruption bill in 1992 to give teeth to the war against corruption , this draft should be the basis for the review of the anti-corruption laws.
For this reason , I call on the new Attorney – General , Datuk Mohtar Abdullah , to make public the comprehensive draft for a new anti-corruption law submitted by the ACA in 1992 as a basis for review of anti0corruption laws , and to invite feedback from the public.
As a review of anti – corruption laws is long overdue, all parties concerned should work towards a common deadline whereby the Bill for a new and comprehensive law to tight corruption could be tabled and passed by Parliament at its next meeting in April.
DAP proposes that the Prime Minister , Datuk Seri Dr Mahahir Mohamed , set up an All-Party Parliamentary Committee under the chairman ship of Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to study the ACA draft , invite public proposals and to get the new Anti-Corruption Bill ready for the next Parliament.