PRESS STATEMENT

For Immediate Release

To reform the MACC, a mere Service Commission as proposed by parliamentarians is not enough

Kuala Lumpur, 11 December 2015 – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s Special Committee on Corruption (Jawatankuasa Khas Mengenai Rasuah, JKMR) recently submitted its annual report to the Government and Parliament, with a strong call for amendments to anti-corruption laws to be tabled for debate.

“It is important to note that in this most recent report, the Committee has expressed its frustration at the lack of progress in anti-corruption reforms despite the Prime Minister’s support for the recommendations,” stated Wan Saiful Wan Jan, IDEAS’ Chief Executive. “Reading their report, it sounds like the JKMR felt aggrieved because their more substantial recommendations or suggestions over the past three years have not been implemented by the Government.”

“I believe the Chairman of JKMR, Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang, is sincere in wanting to move things forward. I support the JKMR’s call for action, especially their proposal that the Federal Constitution must be amended to insert clauses to give the MACC more independence. However, following extensive research that we have done working together with other entities such as the Malaysian Bar, we believe that the JKMR’s call for the creation of an MACC Service Commission is insufficient and not strong enough to achieve what the JKMR wants and is needed.”

IDEAS together with the Malaysian Bar, the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4), Citizens’ Network for a Better Malaysia (CNBM), and Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M), have proposed a set of legal and institutional reforms for the MACC to improve its effectiveness to combat corruption and address outstanding problems related to check and balances. The main proposals include:

The creation of the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (IACC), a constitutional body independent of the Executive branch. This is a superior set up compared to the JKMR’s proposed MACC Service Commission. The proposed IACC will have complete independence in all aspects from budgeting to hiring and policy-setting, as opposed to a mere Service Commission which is only responsible for personnel issues.
The separation of the office of the Attorney General and Public Prosecutor to remove the current conflict of interest between these two roles.

Amendments to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 to expand the anti-corruption commission’s powers of investigation. Amendments to other legislation such as the Official Secret’s Act and the Whistle-blower Protection Act to improve witness protection and encourage whistle blowing.

Wan Saiful added “IDEAS will now initiate a national public awareness campaign so that everyone knows about these ideas. We spent almost a year working on this major study and it is time for the public to know about it. We will be heading to several major cities, starting with Kuching, Sarawak on 16 December 2015 followed by Kuantan, Pahang in January 2016.”

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