Anwar: Incoming Agong Sultan Ibrahim knows Constitution, merely concerned that corruption is systemic

PUTRAJAYA, — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today again sought to allay concern over Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar of Johor’s suggestion to place the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) under the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

In a dialogue session with senior editors, Anwar said Sultan Ibrahim is aware of the role of the constitutional monarchy and, like the PM, shares the concern that corruption in Malaysia is systemic, with some elites seemingly untouchable by law enforcers.

“Don’t think His Highness does not understand the Constitution; he does. He told me he had proposed some ideas, but these need to be discussed with the prime minister and then be decided by the prime minister.

“I said, ‘I am ready to discuss these, no problem’. The concern is that the issue of corruption is so massive and proliferating as a systemic issue,” he said in the Seri Perdana Complex here.

Earlier this month, Sultan Ibrahim — who will take become the Agong next year — told Singapore’s Straits Times that he wishes for the MACC and state oil-and-gas giant Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) to be placed under the oversight of the Agong to ensure their independence.

This suggestion drew caution, among others from former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who warned this may raise questions over the royalty’s role as constitutional monarchs here.

“You ask everyone in KL, everyone knows who is among the most corrupt in our country. Nobody dares to touch them. It reflects on the failure of the entire system.

“We have to give a clear signal that no one is above the law,” Anwar told the press today.

“If we manage to settle this with compelling, incontrovertible evidence to support the case, then the signal will blast through that nobody else is that powerful,” Anwar added.

He did not mention which case he was referring to, but yesterday Anwar said the MACC’s investigation and seizure of Tun Daim Zainuddin’s Menara Ilham proved the system of enforcement in the country does not protect anyone involved in corruption.

On Thursday, it was reported that Menara Ilham was seized by MACC after Daim’s extension on disclosing financial details requested by the agency lapsed in an investigation reportedly involving Umno-linked Renong Bhd and United Engineers Malaysia Bhd (UEM).

Back in 2022, Anwar was quoted saying that Daim would face “sleepless nights” when the former becomes the prime minister, warning that he would never stop uncovering alleged scandals involving the latter.

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