PETALING JAYA - How about a cup of tea first? Officers of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) are likely to ask the question before interviewing suspects and witnesses.
Showing consideration and making those being questioned comfortable is part of the new standard operating procedure (SOP) adopted by the MACC to improve its image, which has been dented by several controversies in the past.
Besides offering a cuppa, several other measures have also been introduced to improve the commission's success rate in solving cases.
They include gathering comprehensive information and preparation before interviews, achieving rapport with suspects or witnesses, taking account of their statements and ending the sessions with "airtight" testimonies.
This new method is part of the "Planning and preparation, Engage and explain, Account, Closure, Evaluation", otherwise known as the PEACE technique, practised by law-enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The PEACE model is aimed at stopping suspects or witnesses from being bullied or coerced and encouraging them to open up and provide information voluntarily.
Since it was implemented two years ago, the MACC has recorded a 100 per cent rate of evidence gathered being accepted by the courts.
The new process is in line with the implementation of the Video Interview Rooms (VIR) in all MACC offices and branches nationwide to enhance accountability.