PUTRAJAYA: Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohammed said he was not pressured to leave the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and had in fact made three requests to have his contract terminated prematurely.
The outgoing chief commissioner said he has been asked to serve as a board member and a visiting expert at the Austria-based International Anti-Corruption AcaÂdeÂÂmy (IACA).
â€œI have said before that I would never be pressured to step down. But this decision is my own.
â€œI have an opportunity to represent the country at an international level by serving at the IACA.
â€œMy appointment is a recognition of the work MACC had done. This is a golden opportunity that I could not ignore,â€ Abu Kassim told reporters at the MACC headquarters here yesterday.
Abu Kassimâ€™s contract as chief commissioner was supposed to end on Dec 4, 2018, but the date was brought forward to Aug 1 this year upon his request.
â€œI have made three requests to terminate my contract ahead of time.
â€œTwice it was rejected by the Government.
â€œOnly on the third request I was successful,â€ he said.
He will, however, remain in the Malaysian civil service until his mandatory retirement in 2020.
Abu Kassim will also be serving as a lecturer, researcher and a consultant at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) after stepping down from MACC.
He was mum on who would be his successor.
â€œAs stated in our MACC Act, the chief commissioner is appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, upon the advice of the Prime Minister. Whoever is deemed the best choice will be appointed,â€ he said.
Aked if he had any advice to his successor, he replied: â€œDo your work properly!â€
Abu Kassimâ€™s deputy, Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull, will also be leaving his post this year following his retirement this October.
â€œNaturally, like most civil servants, he (Mohd Shukri) will be away on a course for a few months before he retires in October,â€ Abu Kassim explained.
On his six-year tenure as chief commissioner, Abu Kassim said the MACC had undergone many changes and achieved international acclaim during that time.
â€œFirstly, I would like to thank the Government for allowing me to serve as chief commissioner for over six years. I am probably one of the longest serving as most chief commissioners serve only three to four years.
â€œThere have been many small as well as high-profile cases throughout my time, and I must say I have been satisfied with how all of them have been handled,â€ he said.
Abu Kassim was sworn in as MACC chief commissioner on Jan 1, 2010.