The Malaysia Corruption Watch (MCW) says that Datuk Lee Chong Wei should lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in regards to the alleged match-fixing attempt in 2006.
MCW president Jais Abdul Karim said that any failure to do is unforgivable due to the huge implications for Malaysian sports and integrity.
Indonesian badminton legend Taufik Hidayat had claimed that a Malaysian badminton official had attempted to bribe him to lose the Doha Asian Games semi-final match against Chong Wei back in 2016.
Chong had said he was unaware of the matter and had had sought clarification from Taufik after Go Sports broke the news Malaysia. Chong Wei had confirmed that he was now aware of the identity of the alleged culprit, but had declined to name the person as it happened too long ago.
“Failure to report an attempted bribery is an offence under Section 25 (1) and (2) of the MACC Act of 2009 and is punishable with a maximum of 10 years prison and a fine of not more than RM100,000, if proven guilty,” said Jais.
Jais added that Section 17 (1) of the Anti-Bribery Act of 1977 states the same punishment for any case that happened prior to 2009.
“It is important for Chong Wei to make the report, immaterial whether he was directly involved or not,” said Jais.
He also added that the report could be made by Chong Wei himself, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BA) or any Malaysian individual, who wants the matter to be investigated.
He added that the MACC was duty bound to investigate once the report is made.
“MCW has already submitted our report to MACC and we believe in accordance to normal procedures, Chong Wei and several others would be called up in the coming days to give their statements,” said Jais.
Taufik had alleged that he was offered twice the amount he would receive as bonus from his association to lose the match. He went on to beat Chong Wei in the match and defeated China’s Lin Dan in the gold medal match.
The BAM,on its part has also not made any official statement on the issue as of yet. Neither has the Badminton World Federation (BWF)
While some are questioning Taufik’s rationale in making the allegation after 15-years, Jais said that bribery and attempted bribery were not legally bound by any time-limitations for action to be taken.
“Bribery in sports is not new in Malaysia. It has been going on for a long time. If left unchecked it would corrupt the community and nation. Malaysian sports industry would be stunted if it is not eradicated completely,” said Jais.
He added that corruption in sports are not confined to only misuse of association fundings, abuse of power for financial gains and match-fixing but also in abuse of position to gain decisions for self-interest.
“MACC defines bribery in various forms including money, presents, bonuses, votes, services, positions and even discounts,” said Jais.
However, he added that MCW believes that bribery in Malaysian sports is at a controlled level.
“The steps taken by the Sports Ministry to ensure positive culture together with prevention and enforcement against bribery has been effective from making it a cancer in sports development. The need to ensure all sports associations and athletes are free of corruption is ultimately important,” said Jais.