November 24, 2020 (PN)
The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government has pledged to continue the previous administration’s effort in setting up the Ombudsman Malaysia initiative to replace the existing Public Complaints Bureau (PCB).
In a parliamentary reply, de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan said the proposed Ombudsman Bill has been submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for review and approval before it is tabled in Parliament.
He said the government had finalised the policy on the ombudsman, a platform for the public to channel their grievances against the public delivery system. The cabinet had agreed to establish Ombudsman Malaysia, which is an impartial independent body, back in October 2018, he said.
“Now, the government is committed toward strengthening the Public Complaints Bureau as the Ombudsman Malaysia for the management of public complaints,” he said, adding 60 percent of countries worldwide had an ombudsman institution in place.
For the purpose of setting up its own ombudsman system, the PCB had studied the model and ombudsman law in nine countries including the UK, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong.
The PCB also learned from the experience of local agencies, including the MACC, the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC), the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) and the National Audit Department.
He said various agencies had also taken part in scrutinising the Ombudsman Bill.
“The policy on the ombudsman has been finalised and the draft bill has been submitted to the AG’s Chambers for review and approval before it is tabled in Parliament (for the first reading),” said Takiyuddin.