The Malaysian Insider 3 September 2015

Deputy chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC), Datuk Mustafar Ali, was reported to have said yesterday that he wants the MACC to be given the power to hire and fire their own staff, as well as security of tenure for their chief commissioner. He suggested that this can be done by creating a service commission for the MACC and believes that this will boost MACC’s independence in tackling graft. 

“The MACC and Datuk Mustafar does not have to start from square one on this matter because we have done the hard work for him” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, chief executive of IDEAS.

IDEAS together with the Malaysian Bar, the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism, Citizens’ Network for a Better Malaysia, and Transparency International Malaysia, have conducted an in-depth study on how the fight against graft can be strengthened.

The proposal suggests that the MACC be elevated into a new constitutionally mandated commission similar to the Election Commission, and that it should be renamed the Independent Anti Corruption Commission (IACC). This effectively means the MACC should be abolished, and replaced with a more powerful and stronger IACC.
The new IACC that we propose should have full autonomy and power over anti-corruption policies, practices and directives; recruitment and discipline of officers; as well as powers of oversight and supervision.

The IACC should be headed by a constitutionally recognised and mandated chairman with security of tenure and security from dismissal, akin to a Judge of the Federal Court.

The IACC should be composed of independent commissioners to be voted in by Parliament, and with at least 40% of them coming from civil society, all of whom should enjoy similar security of tenure. This will create more check and balance internally.

This proposal will require an amendment to our Federal Constitution. We have presented the full proposal to the MACC at a meeting of their oversight committees chaired Tunku Abdul Aziz.

“Unfortunately while the meeting was taking place on the fateful 28 July 2015, we heard the news that Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was sacked.  This disrupted our meeting, and the quality of discussion in that meeting ended up being, to say the least, extremely poor and disappointing.  But now since Datuk Mustafar has brought up this issue again, I would be happy to visit the MACC to brief him of our proposals” Wan Saiful added. – September 3, 2015.

* Wan Saiful Wan Jan is chief executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS).

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