KUALA LUMPUR: Several government backbenchers lambasted Opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin who had accused Putrajaya of employing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as a political tool.
Ipoh Barat MP M. Kula Segaran said it was as if Hamzah had deliberately overlooked similar issues when he was appointed as the home minister in the previous government.
He said if Hamzah believed MACC or other agencies were exposed to government interference, the Bersatu secretary-general should have had pressured the government to carry out reform to ensure the independence of such bodies.
"The failure of the previous government to do so should be explained (by the current opposition)," he told the FMT.
On Wednesday, Hamzah alleged the government had turned MACC into a political tool after the agency froze Bersatu account, which is being investigated under the Anti Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA).
It is understood that the move is linked to an investigation of potential embezzlement amounting to billions of ringgit meant for Covid-19 stimulus packages.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had denied Hamzah's claims that the government had instructed MACC to freeze Bersatu's accounts.
Kula said Hamzah could file a motion to debate on MACC's independence at the parliament when it reconvenes on Feb 13.
Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim said the parliament should oversee MACC's operations and the august house needed to be removed from the purview of the Prime Minister's Department.
"The parliament should not function as an agency under the prime minister's department."
He said the government should reinstate the Parliamentary Services Act 1963 to hasten efforts in reforming the institution.
Last year, MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki had opposed to the proposal of placing the commission under the parliament's purview, citing concerns that it would then have to carry its duties under politicians' orders.