Think tank, NGO propose Independent Anti-Corruption Commission to oversee MACC

Topics: MACC IndependencePolitical Corruption & Conflict of InterestGood Governance & Anti-Corruption
Related news: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/01/13/ngos-propose-independent-anti-corruption-commission-to-oversee-macc/
Coverage by: Free Malaysia Today

A think tank and an NGO today suggested the setting up of an Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (IACC) to oversee the nation’s anti-graft agency as well as appoint its head.

The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) and the Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) felt this should be part of reforms to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Speaking at a forum on “Solutions to reform the MACC” organised by Rasuah Busters, IDEAS chief executive officer Tricia Yeoh said the commission would be a free and independent institution, uninfluenced by political and executive power.

“As part of the reforms of the MACC, we propose the establishment of an Independent Anti-Corruption Commission to oversee any anti-corruption agency in the country. IACC will also be tasked with appointing the agency’s head,” she said.

She added that the MACC chief commissioner post should be done away with as a whole and replaced with a director-general, with officers working under them.

Yeoh said the Parliamentary Select Committee on Corruption would be responsible for nominating and monitoring IACC commissioners, “after which, the Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat will vote the IACC commissioners in by way of simple majority”.

Yeoh.

She said that under the proposal, the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board, the Complaints Committee, the Operations Review Panel and the Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel would become working groups under IACC.

C4 founding director Cynthia Gabriel agreed that the proposal would make MACC more effective.

“The current setup, laws and regulations are flawed. It is unclear who is the check and balance for MACC,” she said. “The problem is, there seems to be executive and political influence over MACC.”

Cynthia Gabriel.

She noted that the shares ownership controversy surrounding embattled MACC chief Azam Baki was not the only case involving anti-corruption officials, citing the case of an officer believed to have stolen RM25 million worth of seized items.

“Systemic reforms are needed to prevent such cases from occurring,” she said.

The panel discussion at Kumpulan Media Karangkraf, Shah Alam, was also attended by representatives from Transparency International Malaysia, Bersih, and Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia.

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