Connect with us

Civil Society

MADPET urges parliamentary control over MACC for true independence

MADPET urges the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to be placed under Parliament for independence. Citing unfulfilled promises by PM Anwar Ibrahim, they call for amendments requiring parliamentary approval for MACC appointments and the immediate removal of current Chief Commissioner Azam Baki.



KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET) has called for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to be placed under the jurisdiction of Parliament to ensure its independence and effectiveness in fighting corruption.

This move, according to MADPET, is crucial to prevent the MACC from being perceived as a tool of the current government, targeting opposition members, critics, and “old enemies” of the Prime Minister or the government.

On 18 June 2024, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim reiterated the government’s intention to consider placing MACC under Parliament.

This statement echoes a promise made over 14 months ago, on 28 March 2023, when Anwar told Parliament that Putrajaya was willing to relinquish its discretion in appointing the MACC Chief Commissioner to Parliament.

Despite these assurances, MADPET points out that no concrete steps have been taken to amend the MACC Act or to establish a mechanism for Parliament’s involvement in the appointment process.

MADPET expressed disappointment over what it perceives as false hopes and unfulfilled promises by Anwar and Pakatan Harapan leaders, citing similar delays and U-turns on other reform promises, such as repealing the Sedition Act and introducing local government elections.

MADPET suggests amending Section 5(1) of the MACC Act to require the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to appoint the Chief Commissioner of MACC based on the advice of the Prime Minister, but only after obtaining prior approval from Parliament.

This process would involve a thorough vetting by a Parliamentary Appointments Committee composed of government and opposition MPs, followed by a parliamentary vote.

Such a process, MADPET argues, would ensure that only qualified and suitable candidates are appointed and would deter unsuitable or unpopular appointments. This approach is practiced in other countries, including the US and Ghana, where appointments of high-ranking officials require prior parliamentary approval.

Azam Baki, the current MACC Chief Commissioner, has opposed the idea of placing MACC under Parliament, citing the existence of five independent oversight bodies.

However, MADPET questions the independence and effectiveness of these bodies, highlighting past instances where members struggled to convene meetings or receive responses from their chairs.

MADPET emphasizes the need for transparent actions and reports from these oversight bodies, which currently report only to MACC and the Prime Minister, not to the public or Parliament.

MADPET also raised concerns about Azam Baki’s scandal involving alleged violations of public officer conduct regulations and asset declaration rules.

Despite these allegations, Anwar Ibrahim’s government reappointed Azam for two consecutive one-year terms without parliamentary consultation. MADPET argues that these short terms could compromise the independence of the MACC Chief Commissioner, making them more susceptible to political pressure.

To restore public confidence in MACC’s independence, MADPET calls for immediate legal amendments to remove the Prime Minister’s role in the appointment of the MACC Chief Commissioner and oversight bodies.

All appointments should require prior parliamentary approval, including public vetting. Additionally, MADPET advocates for a fixed tenure for the Chief Commissioner to ensure security of tenure and independence from political influence.

MADPET also demands the immediate removal of Azam Baki as MACC Chief Commissioner and the appointment of a new leader through a transparent and parliamentary-approved process.

They argue that only a truly independent MACC can effectively investigate, charge, and try high-ranking officials, including the Prime Minister, without fear of political repercussions.

Share this post via:
Continue Reading
1 Comment
Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

How long can the Malaysians go back and forth on this. DAP should groom Malay professionals and move away from PKR. It has the biggest parliamentary seats and should work towards winning more on its own. It has enough talent to take the country forward. The Malays should not be afraid to vote in the DAP. Give them four years and then if still dissatisfied on performance vote back the Malay political parties. Look at Malaysia in the hands of the present Malay leaders, all want to be PM but where is the performance? Total and Complete failure and hiding… Read more »