Table Ombudsman Bill immediately, C4 urges govt

Topic: Ombudsman Bill

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Coverage by: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) has urged the government to table the Ombudsman Bill immediately so that the independent body can start work by 2022 to probe malpractices committed by civil servants.

The anti-graft group said in a statement that the public procurement sector has been crushing Malaysian businesses for decades due to the malpractices.

It said public procurement has been dogged by overpricing, cost overruns, delays in completing projects, low quality of work, and corruption despite policies and regulations to curb malpractices.

“The Covid-19 pandemic and the period of disturbing political developments that hit the nation hard has pushed back various key reform areas acutely required to improve the country’s governing system and the overall socio-political and economic situations,” C4 said.

It reiterated five points to ensure the success of the ombudsman system in Malaysia:

  • The ombudsman must be set up as an independent body.
  • The ombudsman must be free of political interference and go through a rigorous interview process determined by a parliamentary select committee.
  • Specific laws must determine the powers and jurisdiction of the ombudsman to investigate malpractices in the public service.
  • The ombudsman’s investigations must be made public.
  • Budget allocations for the ombudsman must be made through Parliament.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a previous report that the government expects to table the Ombudsman Bill by next year to set up an independent complaints body.

An ombudsman would serve as an impartial independent body to address public complaints against government bodies.


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