Free Malaysia Today 3 September 2015

PETALING JAYA: The current Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should be abolished and replaced with a new one that has full autonomy over anti-graft policies, practices and directives, Wan Saiful Wan Jan of Ideas said.

The CEO of the think tank was commenting on a proposal that Ideas, together with the Malaysian Bar, the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism, Citizens’ Network for a Better Malaysia, and Transparency International Malaysia put together before its meetings were somewhat derailed with the sacking of its key player, former Attorney-General Gani Patail.

According to the proposal, MACC is to 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 the 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,” he explained.

The group also proposed that the new IACC 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 per cent of them coming from civil society, all of whom should enjoy similar security of tenure. This will create more check and balance internally.”

Cautioning that such a big move would require an amendment to the Federal Constitution, Wan Saiful said that his group was ready to push their proposal again, now that the MACC’s Deputy Chief Commissioner himself, Mustafar Ali, had brought up issues currently plaguing the commission.

Mustafar had earlier spoken of the need for the MACC to be given more independence when it came to hiring and firing its staff as well as the need for a security of tenure for its chief commissioner.

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