PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has denied accusations made by lawyers at a press conference today, which was organised by Lawyers of Liberty (LFL) in regards to an investigation into a Joint Management Corporation’s (JMC) alleged misappropriation of funds.

In a statement, the MACC said it is its responsibility as the anti-corruption enforcement agency to clarify the facts and refute the accusations of parties under investigation.

“Regarding the case, the MACC received complaints around the end of May, from residents in a Damansara area alleging that management and maintenance funds collected by the JMC were believed to have been misappropriated.

“The initial investigation found grounds to suspect the occurrence of such events based on reports related to legal costs by the JMC, which were not fully declared.

“Therefore, the MACC launched an operation on June 4. Several people have been detained and remanded for investigation as they are among the main suspects,” it said.

The MACC said the focus of the probe is being conducted under the MACC Act 2009 for criminal breach of trust, and not to obtain information from their clients.

Thus, it said there is no issue of enforcement officers interfering with the public’s right to legal representation, as alleged by LFL.

It said as an enforcement agency, the MACC is empowered to act under Section 31 (Power to Investigate and Search and Seize) of the MACC Act 2009.

The section states that “a MACC officer, based on reasonable suspicion that an offence under this Act has been committed, may enter or forcibly open any premises, search, seize, and take possession of any books, documents, account records, or data, and detain any person found on the premises”.

The MACC said it views the accusations made by the parties under investigation as unfounded and appeared to be aimed at disrupting the ongoing investigation.

“As the country’s leading anti-corruption enforcement agency, the MACC will not succumb to any attempts to obstruct or interfere with the investigation according to the established legal processes,” it said.