Azam continuing as MACC chief proves agency is independent

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Government will consider placing MACC under Parliament as mooted by Transparency International.

The decision to retain Tan Sri Azam Baki’s position as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief proves the agency is independent from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s orders.

Anwar told the Lower House today, the decision to retain Azam despite being appointed by the previous prime minister broke custom where new administrations would replace heads of agencies with political appointees.

“The MACC is an independent body which is why when I assumed power, I decided to retain the anti-graft agency’s chief to prevent any perception that the new PM would choose a new MACC chief.

“I decided to retain the commission’s chief even though he was appointed by Pagoh (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin),” he said.


Anwar was responding to Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin on the government’s readiness to implement the recommendations by Transparency International Malaysia for the MACC to be placed under the jurisdiction of Parliament so it is no longer under the Prime Minister’s Department to ensure checks and balances over the agency’s processes are more independent and transparent.

The premier assured that the anti-graft body would be free from his orders based on the current legislations.

He also said he has no problem passing the power to select a new MACC chief to a parliamentary special select committee (PSSC).

However, Anwar told the Dewan Rakyat today that this had to be reviewed by government agencies first.

“The question now is, if there is a new appointment to be made, or an extension of the contract (for the current MACC chief), the method to be applied would depend on progress in Parliament.

“If the process mechanism as suggested by Transparency International-Malaysia and several other bodies has been studied by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and government agencies, and then (the power) gets passed to the select committee in time, then I have no problem with it.

“As long as the process is respected,” he said.