PUTRAJAYA, Sept 3 — An anti-corruption expert who had previously advised Datuk Seri Najib Razak expressed disappointment over the Prime Minister’s handling of the RM2.6 billion controversy, but said today he is still willing to believe Najib if he comes clean on details concerning the donation.
Michael Hershman told reporters here that he had “great respect” for Najib as he felt the latter had supported Malaysia’s anti-corruption efforts.
“Let’s not forget he has given a lot of resources and flexibility to the MACC. They are one of the best funded and largest anti-corruption agencies in the world and it’s in part due to his policies that it has happened,” he said.
“I respected him and I believe in his integrity and to say disappointed is a bit of an understatement.
“I’m still willing to believe in him but he’s got to come forward to tell the truth,” said Hershman, who had previously provided advice while on the international advisory board for the Najib administration’s Government Transformation Programme from 2010 to 2013.
Hershman was speaking at a session titled “Fighting Corruption by Authorities: What worked and what went wrong” at the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference.
During a question and answer segment, Hershman advised not to cover-up or delay disclosing the truth about the RM2.6 billion donation as it would only make things worse for him.
Hershman, who had advised the Najib administration previously, also said it would be better for the latter to own up and seek forgiveness if he had committed any wrongdoing.
“And if he has done something wrong, he should seek forgiveness and face the consequences. Delay is not going to help,” the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) council member said.
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