No noticeable improvements.
Former Bersih chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan has expressed disappointment over the reform policies of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s administration, saying that the pace of reform was slow and there were no noticeable improvements.
“Although I believe that the government should be given more time for reforms, I have not heard any real reform plans to move forward.
“There was a lot of talk about dealing with corruption, yet we have not seen any clear improvement,” she was quoted as saying by Utusan Malaysia.
Ambiga called for several key issues to be prioritised, including matters related to fundamental rights such as freedom of speech.
“The Sedition Act still exists, and we are surprised that it is still being used. It is also the same with the Communications and Multimedia Act Section 233,” she added.
Despite several parties claiming the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 Section 233 is often used for political purposes, the former Malaysia Bar Council president said no changes have been made.
As far back as 2019, Deputy Communication Minister Teo Nie Ching said the then Pakatan Harapan government was conducting research and streamlining the act to ensure its scope and avoid any room for misuse.
Commenting further, Ambiga said another issue that was not given the government’s attention is the revamping of the MACC as stated in the previous Harapan manifesto.
“We have yet to see any meaningful revamp of MACC in relation to whether the institution needs to be placed under Parliament,” she added.
Under the Harapan manifesto, all appointments of MACC commissioners, Suhakam, the Election Commission (EC), and the Judicial Appointments Committee which are being implemented under the prime minister’s discretion need to be approved by Parliament.
Under the proposed reforms, the EC will also be placed under Parliament’s authority and MACC will be upgraded to a full commission recognised by the Federal Constitution. MACC will also be responsible to Parliament.
Other “disappointing” issues Ambiga pointed out that have yet to be resolved include the automatic granting of citizenship through the force of law to children born abroad by Malaysian mothers married to foreign spouses. – Malaysiakini