Tuesday, December 16, 2008

MACC:To Be Or Not To Be

Hantu Laut

It is said both opposition and government lawmakers still have reservation and find it less than ideal that the two bills - the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) be passed in such a hurry.

In spite of their reservations the opposition say they would still give support to the bills.Giving an 'Aye' without studying the proposed bill thoroughly?

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak
has told all BN lawmakers to give their supports.Parliamentary Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has given conditional support but wanted the power to prosecute to be given to the MACC not the AG. (Attorney General).

Our former colonial masters must have given serious thought to the laws, separation of powers and the institutional set-up for its enforcement.You do not change the law because of one man complaint against the AG or an AG who failed in his duties.You change the AG not the law
.Anwar seems more concern about stripping the AG's power to prosecute rather than a deep desire to see reform of the ACA. Anwar's objection to the AG as the ultimate power to prosecute was born out of personal conflicts rather than a desire to see major reforms.

Giving the ACA the power to prosecute but still makes it answerable to one man is certainly not a major reform by any measure.To make the ACA totally independent and away from political interference and pressure, the only viable solution is to make it answerable to a 'Parliamentary Committee' comprising not less than 10 MPs with equitable representations from the opposition and the government.The power to prosecute should remain with the AG in order to avoid abuse of power.To give both power to investigate and to prosecute to the MACC is even more dangerous than the present setup.There must be separation of powers.Unrestrained, the MACC
could become a monster that could well be the lawmakers biggest nightmare.

There is nothing wrong with the present setup - the power to investigate to the police and ACA and the power to prosecute with the AG.Anwar's allegation of misconduct against the AG should not form the basis of a debate of the bill in Parliament in asking for removal of the AG's power to prosecute.

The whole concept of the bill is wrong, the power to prosecute should not be the principal factor for change for as long as it is still under the control of the executive. The ACA is no way near being called independent as long as it is still answerable to the Prime Minister.Giving the MACC the power to prosecute, as entailed by Anwar, is only moving the object from the Prime Minister's left hand pocket to his right hand pocket.The whole essence of wanting to reform should be nothing less than total independence, answerable only to a Parliamentary Committee.

Half a cupful is the same as half empty.The proposed bill is a waste of time.

4 comments:

SM said...

HL,

I fully agree with you. The proposed bill is a waste of time!
It's being pushed through to show that Pak Lah & his successor & the BN are "serious" about curbing corruption (Hahahahahahaha...ya rite...we Malaysians have been so stupid all these years that the BN still figure they have the right to continue to treat us like retards!).
Recently when the Deputy Commissioner & Head of Operations for Hong Kong's ICAC was interviewed, they asked him how the ICAC maintained Independence...& he said "We are independent. There is nothing to maintain"!
And Pak Lah is saying that the MACC is modeled after the ICAC?! Ya right! UMNO can't even curb Money Politis in its own backyard!!!!!

Hantu Laut said...

sm,
I personally feel the bill is unnecessary unless full independence.I am surprised the opposition say they will support it.

kittykat46 said...

Anwar Ibrahim wasn't just critical of the vesting of prosecution powers with the AG - lots more, if you care to read his website....

Again, it is not a mono-issue, but the power to prosecute, free of political control, is at the crux of the independence or perceived independence of a future MACC.

In Malaysia, the AG acts as the chief legal adviser and chief legal officer to the government of the day - and historically (not just the incumbent) very much a political operator.

Hong Kong's ICAC has its own prosecution unit, independent of the rest of the government.
New South Wales, Australia has an identically named ICAC, roughly modelled the same way, but it recommends prosecutions, which are still done by the Public Prosecutor. If the PP declines to prosecute, he is publically accountable, not just an opaque "Arahan Kes Tutup" as so often with Malaysia's AG.

Hantu Laut said...

kittykat46,
I don't always read Anwar's website,I do only if I am doing some research.

Anwar has always been harping on stripping the AG of his power to prosecute because he alleged the AG fixed evidence in his sodomy charge before.How far that is true we don't know.

Anwar should push for total independence of the ACA, free from executive control.