DSAI….a convenient truth?
I consider what I will describe below as a very important fact unknown to or overlooked by Malaysians.
Anwar, during his tenure as DPM, was strongly against the unchecked corrupt practices then taking place under the guise of privatization (I prefer to call it piratisation). It led to a new breed of cronies and the involvement of the govt – and thus Umno – in business.
These events that took place in 1997 throw some light on how Anwar had the opportunity to check the corruption that was taking root in the country then. Unfortunately, he was defeated by those within the close circle of Mahathir.
(i) Some time beginning in April 1997 during Anwar’s tenure as the Acting PM (yes, the first and only time that the country had an Acting PM), a Cabinet Paper was tabled to replace the Prevention of Corruption Act 1961 with a new bill named the Anti-Corruption Act. This resulted in a delegation of top Umno leaders to meet Mahathir in London to instruct Anwar to put the proposal on hold.
(ii) Meanwhile, in July, the President of the Malaysian Bar issued a Press Statement which stated, among others that:
“….The Bar Council however welcomes any proposal to amend the Prevention Of Corruption Act (PCA) requiring an accused person to prove his unexplained wealth….”. (Please see the attached newsletter)
(iii) In September, the new Anti-Corruption Act came into force, but it did not contain any provision relating to changes in the onus of proof requiring an accused person to prove his unexplained wealth.