Bersih commends PM’s willingness to reform MACC

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Bersih has commended Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim for his receptiveness towards placing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) under Parliament and having the appointment process of its chief vetted by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC).

The group praised the prime minister for stating that he had “no objections” to reforming the appointment process.

“The mechanism has been suggested in detail by various bodies, including Bersih, Ideas and Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M).

“We understand that any reform mechanism will go through the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and be deliberated by the select committee, and hope that it will be done in a transparent manner, inclusive of participation by civil society,” Bersih said in a statement today.

Further, the group also lauded Anwar for stating that he “agrees” that the attorney-general should be separated from the public prosecutor.

“This separation, as well as the reforms to the MACC chief appointment process, must be expedited to strengthen institutional autonomy and dispel perceptions of ‘politically-motivated charges’ brought against former prime ministers and opposition MPs,” it added.

Lastly, Bersih also commended Dewan Rakyat Speaker Johari Abdul’s initiatives to empower Parliament, particularly on suggesting special select committees for the appointments of key positions in government agencies such as MACC and the Election Commission (EC).

Earlier, the prime minister stated 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 method for the new appointment or extension of the current MACC chief’s contract, he said, would depend on progress in Parliament, including if the process mechanism is studied by the Attorney-General’s Chambers and government agencies and then passed to the select committee. – Malaysiakini