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  • Writer's pictureIlona Andrew

Pandora Papers: Full investigation will help restore public confidence - Guan Eng


16 Oct 2021

By Ilona Andrew


KUALA LUMPUR: DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng said a full investigation into the Pandora Papers issue will not only help restore Malaysia’s position in the rule of law index but will also help regain public confidence.


At the moment, Malaysia's score in the global rule of law index dipped 1.4 per cent to 0.57, ranking 54 out of the 139 nations surveyed in the World Justice Project's (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2021.


This, he said, contrasts with Malaysia's ranking of 47th place out of 128 countries last year.


“The deterioration in Malaysia's rule of law position requires the need to courageously speak truth to power, particularly a full investigation on the illicit financial outflow of funds involving prominent active politicians as exposed in the Pandora Papers.


“Despite public pressure from opposition MPs, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has stubbornly refused to launch an investigation. This has raised public skepticism and doubts about MACC's credibility and justified suspicion that MACC will turn a blind eye when active politicians supporting the government are involved,” he said in a statement today.


Guan Eng also mentioned that politicians who were normally seditiously vocal on racist and extremist religious issues hostile towards minority groups have kept a loud silence on the Pandora Papers.


“Due to the lack of action by MACC against money laundering by pro-government politicians, Bank Negara was seen as the only institution left that could act against the illicit financial outflows.


“After all, USD33.7 billion is a huge sum by international standards. Unfortunately, Bank Negara appears to be following the MACC and is maintaining an unholy silence on this financial scandal,” he lambasted.


He asserted the Federal government must be reminded that the eight factors used in the World Justice Project’s assessments show the deterioration of the state of rule of law in Malaysia covering constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice.


“The decline in Malaysia's performance will not help to bolster investor confidence and public faith in the credibility of the government to protect basic constitutional rights that every citizen is equal before the law by protecting the public from the abuses and excesses of powers of the government.


“Malaysia can do well to restore public confidence and our position in the rule of law index by acting and punishing those involved as well as recommend stringent measures to prevent illicit financial flows out of Malaysia and how to improve transparency, accountability and good governance.”


Earlier, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government will not interfere if any enforcement agency wishes to investigate the Pandora Papers.


The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has on Oct 3 released a hoard of data reportedly involving some 11.9 million documents and 2.9 terabytes of data used to expose supposedly corrupt dealings of the global elite.


Among the Malaysians that were allegedly involved include former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and current Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

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