Anwar proposes independent body to investigate enforcement agencies

28 Mar 2023 01:26pm
Anwar - Bernama Pix
Anwar - Bernama Pix
KUALA LUMPUR - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has requested the Attorney-General (AG) to relook into the proposal to set up an independent body to investigate and take action on all complaints, accusations and misconduct involving enforcement agencies.

Anwar said this is to ensure that enforcement agencies do not conduct their own investigations into any cases or complaints received involving its officers or personnel.

He said the enforcement agencies include the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), Royal Malaysian Customs Department, Immigration Department and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

"I have asked the AG to relook into the initial proposal so that there is a mechanism for all enforcement agencies. If there are special charges against MACC, immigration, police or customs officers, then there should be an independent body (to investigate), (maybe) in the form of a commission, I’m not sure yet.

"There has already been an instruction to the AG to submit a proposal so that these enforcement agencies do not investigate on their own, but there should be another independent body to do so.

"I don’t think this matter is complicated because there is already a preliminary proposal,” he said during the Minister’s Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He said this in reply to a supplementary question from Gobind Singh Deo (PH-Damansara) on the government’s measures to ensure that investigations against officers of enforcement bodies such as the MACC are carried out independently.

Anwar said the proposed establishment of the independent body is appropriate because it is more comprehensive and can take action on all complaints involving enforcement agencies.

"When there is an issue with the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, the question raised is why only the police...the matter should involve all enforcement agencies," he said.
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Meanwhile, in response to Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin's (PN-Masjid Tanah) original question, he said the existing law ensures MACC's freedom in conducting investigations and is not subject to the prime minister's instructions.

"That's why when I took over, I chose not to replace the MACC chief commissioner appointed by Pagoh to avoid the perception that the prime minister will appoint a new MACC chief," he explained.

Earlier, Mas Ermieyati asked the prime minister to state the government's readiness to implement Transparency International Malaysia's (TI-M) recommendations for the MACC to be placed under the Parliament and no longer under the Prime Minister's Department to ensure a more transparent check and balance process.

Anwar said he has no problem considering the TI-M's recommendations but stressed that it requires a comprehensive study involving all parties.

"Any development on this recommendation should be presented to the Parliamentary Select Committee to be examined so that the MACC's capabilities can be enhanced without any interventions that are feared will hamper anti-corruption efforts," he said.

He said the MACC is being monitored by five independent bodies, namely the Special Committee on Corruption, Anti-Corruption Advisory Board, Operations Evaluation Panel, Complaints Committee, and Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel.

To a supplementary question from Sim Tze Tzin (PH-Bayan Baru) on whether the prime minister wants to proceed with the proposed law on political funding, Anwar said the matter is still at the minister's level. - BERNAMA

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