Kuala Lumpur, 16 May 2018: The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) welcomes the formation of the committee on institutional reforms by the Council of Eminent Persons. IDEAS echoes the Council’s assertion that economic reforms on their own are insufficient to bring meaningful change, unless accompanied by institutional reforms. IDEAS also applauds the appointment of respected and credible individuals into the committee.
IDEAS suggests that the five areas of reform that the committee should focus on are:
- Separating the offices of the Attorney General (AG) and the Public Prosecutor
- Separating the legal and judicial services to prevent conflicts of interest over the presiding of cases
- Reinstituting and strengthening the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC)
- Empowering Parliament through an allocated budget, the establishment of Parliamentary Select Committees and official recognition of the Opposition
- Strengthening the independence of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)
Aira Azhari, Coordinator of the Democracy and Governance Unit says that “We are pleased that the new government has recognised the urgency of institutional reforms for Malaysia’s future. We recommend the committee look very seriously at these five areas of reform, which have been advocated for by IDEAS for a long time. In the areas of AG and MACC reform, IDEAS has produced a policy paper and a memorandum. We have also published a policy paper on police decentralisaiton and spoken in conferences advocating for Parliamentary reform.”
“I am optimistic for Malaysia’s future now that both institutional and economic reforms are high on the new government’s priority list. Considering the urgency of these reforms, we hope that they will see the light of day within the first 100 days of this new government’s administration,” Aira concludes.