The live broadcasting of recorded telephone conversations between parties claimed to be the former prime minister and others by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is improper and regrettable, says Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh.
He said in a statement on Thursday (Jan 9) that what MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya did could be seen as tantamount to a trial-by-media of those implicated in the recordings.
“No doubt, we all want to know and get to the bottom of what was allegedly said in the recordings, and whether or not the individuals involved are responsible for any offense which may have been committed, but that is the job of the courts, not the media, or for that matter, any agency investigating the individuals purportedly in said recordings.
Ramkarpal also said that spying on people’s telephone conversations might be unconstitutional,” although it may be provided for in law today”.
“I personally feel it is unconstitutional and cannot be condoned, as it very much infringes our right to privacy.
“Whether or not such conversations evidence criminal offenses is for the MACC or the police to investigate and present in court.
He warned that if such a trend were to continue, we would soon see alleged criminals being found guilty in a press conference and not in a court of law.
“If there is evidence against the individuals implicated in said recordings, charge them and present those recordings in court as evidence for its consideration.
“Those accused would have every right to challenge those recordings, and it would be for the court to decide if such a challenge is sustainable or not,” he said.
Ramkarpal said while it was not for the government to dictate how the MACC should go about its affairs as it was an independent agency, the rule of law must be observed.
Unfortunately, he added, and the action of the MACC in this instance was inconsistent with it.