LETTER | CSO Platform for Reform opposes the government’s announcement of its intention to place the MACC under the purview of the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC), as the coalition strongly believes that this move contradicts the spirit of institutional reform.
We refer to Minister in The Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Azalina Othman Said’s announcement on May 2.
Based on our observations, there is no functionality in placing MACC under EAIC. Such a move will instead be contradictory to the independence and transparency of MACC, which is required for the body to properly carry out its duties.
It is especially a cause of deep concern to us, as the scope of EAIC's authority has been vague and ambiguous since its inception.
Furthermore, the independence of EAIC has also been the subject of debate as the appointment of its chief commissioner is made by the prime minister. Therefore, this has raised questions about whether the EAIC is truly free from political influence.
As the MACC is the supreme body overseeing anti-corruption activities, it is necessary to ensure that it is able to discharge its duty without any form of political interference.
This is particularly important when we consider the powers held by MACC.
Therefore, we do not believe that placing it under the purview of the EAIC will enhance its independence or authority.
Azalina should instead consider placing the MACC under the purview of Parliament for the purpose of accountability and transparency.
We also believe that this aspiration is in line with Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s stance, to ensure transparency and independence of the MACC.
During the last Parliament session, the prime minister expressed the government's willingness to consider appointing the MACC chief commissioner under Parliament to ensure transparency and independence.
We call upon the unity government to uphold its reforms principle by abandoning this proposal, and instead focus on advancing the reform agenda of the MACC.
The CSO PLATFORM FOR REFORM is a coalition of 60 CSOs focusing on institutional reform.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.