'Resign en masse to protest MACC top guns' departure'
PKR-linked anti-corruption NGO, the National Oversight and Whistleblowers (NOW), today urged MPs on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Corruption to resign to protest the departure of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) head Abu Kassim Mohamed.
Despite Abu Kassim's assertion that it was voluntary, NOW officers Rafizi Ramli and Akmal Nasir said MPs, especially those from the opposition, must resign as there was reason to believe there was interference.
They said this was because a whistleblower had informed NOW of Abu Kassim's imminent departure months earlier.
"We were contacted and met with a senior MACC officer about five months ago, and he told us that MACC's top duo will be forced to resign and replaced by someone from 'outside' MACC.
"We were also informed that the commissioner and deputy commissioner have no intention to (resign) or applied to resign," Rafizi and Akmal said in a joint statement.
This contradicts Abu Kassim's assertion to reporters today that he was not pressured to leave and that this is his third application to cut short his contract.
Abu Kassim said the government accepted his application to cut short his contract, which was due to expire on Dec 4, 2018, and that he was not pressured to leave.
He also said that the MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) would go on a course at the end of next month, before retiring on Oct 3.
Abu Kassim also said his successor would be someone approved by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
NOW also urged MPs and civil societies to hold an urgent meeting next week to discuss the next course of action to "defend MACC's independence and integrity".
The NGO also urged all those appointed to MACC's independent panels to resign in protest.
"All parties should view this seriously to defend MACC's independence.
"Fighting corruption should be the common goal for Pakatan Harapan and PAS, and should be a point for cooperation," Rafizi and Akmal said.