First published in Malaysiakini

By Malaysiakini , (c) 2016, MKINI DOTCOM SDN. BHD. (c) 2016

A think-tank has expressed disagreement with the urging for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to be armed with prosecutorial powers.

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) believes such a move would lead to a conflict of interest.

“I don’t think MACC needs to have its own prosecution powers.

“The problem can be resolved by separating the role of public prosecutor from that of the attorney-general,” said the think-tank’s chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan in a statement.

He said giving MACC prosecution powers would create a new conflict of interest wherein the commission would be under internal pressure to prosecute after completing their own investigation.

Wan Saiful was responding to the proposal from National Human Rights Society (Hakam).

However, the Ideas chief executive shared Hakam’s concerns about the situation in Malaysia, which requires urgent remedial.

“I am really glad that in their statement, Hakam included the proposal for constitutional reform to separate the role of the public prosecutor from that of the attorney-general.

“This has been our urging, too, since last year and we need more civil society organisations to voice the demand to make this happen.

“Since we are heading towards the 14th general election, I urge politicians to consider making this important reform as a manifesto commitment,” he said.

Wan Saiful also supported the proposal to create the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

The IPCMC was proposed by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police during the era of former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

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