31 July 2015


Joint Press Release: Comprehensive Reform to the MACC Needed to Strengthen the Fight Against Corruption in Malaysia

Download MACC Reform Project Memorandum here

The Malaysian Bar, in collaboration with the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (“IDEAS”), the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (“C4”), Citizens’ Network for a Better Malaysia (“CNBM”), and Transparency International Malaysia (“TI-M”), submitted a joint memorandum to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (“MACC”) on 28 July 2015 setting out our proposals to reform the MACC, for it to comprehensively address and deal with corruption.

We hold the view that MACC’s limited success in its attempts to eradicate corruption in Malaysia is a result of corruption not having been addressed in a comprehensive and consistent manner.  Thus, our reform proposals are aimed at ensuring a holistic treatment of the scourge of corruption through a viable constitutional and legislative framework.

The reform proposals are:

  1. to create an Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (“IACC”), a constitutionally mandated commission, beyond the scope, control and influence of the Executive;

  2. to ensure the independence of Commissioners serving the commission; and

  3. to ensure security of tenure for the Chairman and Commissioners.

We also take the position that consequential amendments will be needed to the following legislation:

  1. Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009;

  2. Official Secrets Act 1972;

  3. Whistleblower Protection Act 2010; and

  4. Witness Protection Act 2009.

We propose the establishment of a constitutionally mandated IACC in the mould of the Election Commission, but with a unique structure, and the substance befitting its position as an institution with sufficient powers of oversight and accountability.  This would involve amendments to the Federal Constitution in the form of the introduction of a standalone provision to cater for the new body.

The IACC is to 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 would 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.  Additionally, the IACC would be composed of independent commissioners to be voted in by Parliament, and with at least 40% of them coming from civil society.

Further, as part of the structural reforms, we propose that the statutorily established MACC be renamed the Anti-Corruption Agency (“ACA”), to avoid confusion.  The ACA will be responsible for operational matters involving detection and investigation of corrupt practices or activities.

The fight against corruption must be addressed in a comprehensive manner through these reforms, in order to make genuine progress towards a corruption-free Malaysia.


Steven Thiru
Malaysian Bar

Wan Saiful Wan Jan
Chief Executive Officer
Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (“IDEAS”)

Cynthia Gabriel
Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (“C4”)

Dr Loi Kheng Min
Deputy President
Transparency International Malaysia (“TI-M”)

Dr Ho Chai Yee
Special Interest Group on Anti-Corruption and Good Governance
Citizens’ Network for a Better Malaysia (“CNBM”)

31 July 2015

Download MACC Reform Project Memorandum here

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