Did MACC miss the woods for the trees?

Did MACC miss the woods for the trees?

There may be provisions in the laws of the nation to permit certain law enforcement agencies to wiretap conversations between parties or people of interest, but are there laws to allow them to unilaterally and arbitrarily release the recordings for public and media consumption?

Far more if the said recordings could be integral to an ongoing case or cases in court?

The surprising and startling revelations made by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), whereby it released the audio recordings apparently of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, have put forth a multitude of questions before the public, legal experts and even the judiciary on the legitimacy of its action.

While a segment of the public supported the commission’s bold move, they seem to have missed the forest for the trees. This is no more about Najib per se or even the Kimanis by-election which is around the corner.

The bigger concern here is on the issue of integrity and respect for the laws of the land. And above that the fundamental human rights of all Malaysians.

Are we being told by the MACC that it is perfectly fine to go public with any evidence gathered or received anonymously against any party or person?

It is an irony that the MACC has even announced a ”verdict” of sorts on the authenticity and the content in the audio recordings before passing it to the police. Has the MACC undermined the local police in the haste of going public with the said material?

Today, the public and even legal experts are questioning the motive behind the revelations made by the MACC for it could have handed the material to the police first.

The MACC could have made a media announcement that they are handing over more material in regards to the ongoing Najib’s cases and stop short of revealing the details to the public as it could jeopardise the entire trial.

The MACC’s doing is nothing short of being a double-edged sword. It could swing either way for the prosecution or the defence in the Najib’s trials. It could even prolong the trials by many more months and years.

MACC or any enforcement agency must be seen and perceived unbiased. Their job is to gather evidence and eventually to pass it on to the Attorney General’s chambers for further action. Never is their duty to decide the guilt of a person or admissibility of any evidence. One need not be a legal expert to know that!

As I have said in my earlier take, and I shall repeat it again, let us not be blinded taking hasty actions.

Narinder Pal Singh is veteran political observer

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