Kuching, 6 August 2016 – The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) today launched its East Malaysia edition of the #NyahKorupsi campaign in Kuching, Sarawak as part of its ongoing goal to promote the separation of the roles of the Attorney General and Public Prosecutor, and strengthening the effectiveness of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in the fight against corruption.
#NyahKorupsi is a nationwide campaign which aims to reform the landscape of anti-corruption efforts in Malaysia through legal and institutional reforms.
“The Global Financial Integrity reported that in 2012 alone Malaysia lost MYR 199.71 billion through the illegal flow of money outside of the country. I know this figure is being contested but if it is true, that amount can actually provide individual BR1M at RM 400 every year to every single Sarawakian for 185 years! The same amount of money can even build 12 Pan-Borneo Highways!” highlighted IDEAS Chief Operating Officer Tricia Yeoh.
“Preventing and fighting corruption are important issues which all Malaysians regardless of race, religion or political affiliation should support. However, most people do not fully appreciate the limitations that the MACC faces due to the current system. That is why despite the government’s best efforts, we are still not at par with other countries like Indonesia, India and Hong Kong when it comes to laws on anti-corruption.”
“Our campaign aims to help more people understand the current limitations. And we also have proposals on how to address the limitations. We have been working hard to inform lawmakers from the government and opposition political parties about the need for these reforms so that they can work on a cross-partisan basis on this issue of national importance.”
The proposals were developed following a year long consultation with stakeholders such as Minister YB Datuk Paul Low, former Yang Di-Pertua Dewan Negara Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang, former MACC Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed, lawyers and judges as well as members of the general public.
The necessary steps are:
- Upgrade the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) into a constitutionally mandated Independent Anti Corruption Commission (IACC) with 15 commissioners who enjoy security of tenure.
- Amend the relevant parts of the MACC Act 2009 to give more investigating powers to the relevant bodies
- Improve several relevant Acts including the Official Secrets Act, Whistleblower Protection Act, Witness Protection Act, and to introduce laws to enable freedom of information and asset declarations.
- Strengthen the institutions of Attorney General and Public Prosecutor by separating the two roles from each other.
“I hope this campaign will be looked upon as a constructive way. We want to help the government and opposition come up with better ideas to fight corruption and that is why we talk to everyone regardless of their political colours. We also welcome everyone to participate and contribute to this campaign in whatever way they can. Our team is dedicated to this because we believe that the proposals will make Malaysia a better place for everyone”, concluded Tricia.
The campaign was first launched in Kuala Lumpur on 4 June 2016. Today the team is in Kuching and the next public forum will be held in Johor Bahru in October.