KEYNOTE SPEECH BY YAB TUN DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA
AT THE OFFICIAL LAUNCHING PERDANA INTERNATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION CHAMPION FOUNDATION
11 FEBRUARY 2020 (TUESDAY), 8.30 PM | MARRIOTT HOTEL, PUTRAJAYA
1. It is indeed a significant occasion today as we gather to launch the Perdana International Anti- Corruption Champion Foundation or PIACCF.
2. This foundation will be responsible for the International Anti-Corruption Champion Fund and complement the aspirations of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
3. What makes this fund special and at the same time important is because it acts as a support system for anti-corruption officers who had been victimised and subjected to persecution in the line of duty.
4. We know that combatting and exposing corruption are very dangerous and the world have witnessed many of those who attempted to do so, paid dearly, even with their lives.
5. Obviously, those who involve themselves in corruption are powerful and rich and their objective are for more power and wealth and they have the means and resources to punish and stop those who attempt to put an end to their shenanigans.
6. We are here to tell the world that all the anti-corruption officers who had paid heavy prices in the course of their duty are our champions and our heroes.
7. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of former Attorney-General
- Tan Sri Abdul Gani bin Patail, former Governor of Central Bank of Malaysia - Tan Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz and former Chief Commissioner of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) - Dato’ Sri Mohd Shukri Abdull in exposing the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
8. It is a significant case as it became the turning point of Malaysia’s political direction and sparked an awakening among Malaysians. Their collective courage and determination brought a kleptocratic regime to its feet, in an unprecedented show of people’s power.
9. I would also like to express my utmost regards for all the men and women across the globe who had given their time, lives and commitment in putting an end to the corruption scourge.
10. Tonight, we are here to honour two (2) brave officers who paid heavy prices in their efforts to combat corruption.
11. They will be recipients of the Perdana International Anti-Corruption Champion 2020 Award.
12. The first recipient is Mr Anthony Kevin Morais – a highly regarded Senior Deputy Public Prosecutor of Malaysia who was murdered in 2015 while investigating a corruption scandal.
13. The second recipient is Mr. Novel Baswedan – an officer of the Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK), Indonesia. During one of his investigation in June 2016, he had acid thrown at him, leaving him partially blind.
14. Indeed, there are many other brave officers who had suffered in upholding their integrity. To them, the awards to Mr Morais and Mr Baswedan symbolise our appreciation to all of them.
THE LEGAL SYSTEM IN FIGHTING CORRUPTION
15. In 2003, the United Nations Conventions Against Corruption (UNCAC) became the first global treaty to recognise the need for Specialised Anti-Corruption Bodies, that will focus on Prevention, Coordination and Education in relation to Corruption, and to investigate and prosecute corruption.
16. It requires that the ACA “be granted the necessary independence, in accordance with the fundamental principles of the legal systems of the state party, to be able to carry out their functions effectively and without any undue influence”.
17. Consequently, in 2012 Anti-Corruption Experts of the UN and other organisations including the Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) had introduced and endorsed the Jakarta Statement on Principles for Anti-Corruption Agencies which set out 16 principles providing a detailed guidance on the United Nations Conventions Against Corruption concept of “Necessary Independence” of an anti-corruption body.
18. One of the 16 principles introduced in the Jakarta Principle is on the appointment of the Chief Commissioner, which stated that the ACA’s heads shall be appointed through a process that ensured his or her apolitical stance, impartiality, neutrality, integrity and competence.
19. It also stipulated that ACA’s heads and employees shall have immunity from civil and criminal proceedings for acts committed within the performance of their mandate. They shall be protected from malicious civil and criminal proceedings.
20. These reforms are aimed at ensuring that the appointed officials can act independently in accordance with the law while carrying out their duties effectively without fear of intimidation and abuses by any highly influential persons.
THE ASPIRATION OF PIACC FOUNDATION
21. The aspiration of the Perdana International Anti-Corruption Champion Foundation is to provide assistance to officers of the Anti-Corruption Agency who are victimised, persecuted, abused, intimidated, threatened and maliciously punished for carrying out their tasks.
22. I am proud to say that Malaysia has taken a leading role in addressing this matter, starting with the introduction of the Foundation.
23. I sincerely hope that our contribution will send the message to all the officers of the Anti-Corruption Agency that the Government of Malaysia is with you all the way. And it should also send the message to the corrupt and corruptors that we do not want you in our midst.
24. Bismillahir Rahman Nirrahim, in the name of Allah, Most Gracious and Most Merciful, it is with great pleasure I launch the Perdana International Anti-Corruption Champion Foundation.