First published by Ipoh Echo on 1 March 2016

The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) organised an enlightening public forum entitled, “Catching Monkeys – Fighting Corruption in Malaysia” at Syeun Hotel, Ipoh on Wednesday, February 24.

IDEAS, together with the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4), Citizens’ Network for a Better Malaysia (CNBM), Transparency International-Malaysia and The Malaysian Bar aspire to empower the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and enhance current anti-corruption laws in the nation.

The proposals, presented by panelists Shaza Onn, Senior Executive of IDEAS and Cynthia Gabriel, Executive Director of C4, were the following:

  • The creation of the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (IACC), a constitutional body independent of the Executive.
  • Amendments to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 to enhance the Commission’s powers of investigation
  • Amendments to other legislations such as the Official Secrets Act and the Whistle-blower Protection Act to improve witness protection and encourage whistle-blowing.
  • The separation of the office of the Attorney General and Public Prosecutor to remove the current conflict of interest between these two appointments.

Present was Dato’ Seri Zakaria bin Haji Jaffar, a former Deputy Commissioner of MACC who has 33 years experience working as an enforcement officer, and later as head of the enforcement division, in the Commission. “We’re all in a ship. If one of us bores a hole in the ship, all of us have the responsibility to stop him or else we’ll all perish. That’s the analogy. Support the authorities, such as MACC and Police, as they have the powers to fight corruption. We as individuals don’t have any powers. We can only talk and comment,” he insisted.

“To eradicate corruption, we should start from schools. Introduce the subject and make children aware that corruption can destroy a society,” stated Surinder Singh, Chairman of the Perak State Bar Committee in his closing remarks.

Led by Chief Executive, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, IDEAS is inspired by the vision of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia as stated in the 1957 Proclamation of Independence.

The institute is dedicated to promoting market-based solutions to public policy challenges. This independent, not-for-profit organisation, achieves its mission through research, publication, media engagements, seminars and briefings to federal and state politicians and policy-makers from both sides of the political divide.

For details on IDEAS call its office: 03-6201 8896 / 8897 or visit its website: www.ideas.org.my.

Mei Kuan

See original post at http://www.ipohecho.com.my/v3/article/2016/03/01/reforming-macc

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