Malaysiakini News

Kit Siang: Table CEP report as White Paper in Parliament

Published:  |  Modified:

The Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) report should be tabled as a White Paper in Parliament, said DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang today.

The Iskandar Puteri MP also called for the setting up of a parliamentary select committee to look into the implementation of proposals in the report as well as the proposed new system for the appointment of judges.

"The committee will be the proper forum to study a new system for the appointment of judges to ensure that the doctrine of the separation of powers among the executive, legislature and judiciary is maintained [...]

"And also that there is just rule of law and an independent judiciary in Malaysia," said Lim in a statement.

In making the call, he said former CEP chairperson Daim Zainuddin had also recently urged the government to make the council's recommendations available to the public.

In an interview with Channel News Asia last week, Daim reportedly said that as part of the CEP's efforts to look into government finances, it had interviewed more than 300 individuals from various backgrounds.

As a result, Daim said the interviews had revealed a culture of turning a blind eye towards corruption and it would take the country's economy a much longer time to recover than what was predicted previously.

Lim further said that Daim had cited "serious problems" and as such their full magnitude must be made known to the public.

He argued the move was necessary in order for Malaysians as a whole to understand why the country's finances were in their current state of a "national crisis" and why they as such must be prepared to tighten their belts in the immediate future.

"The main culprits responsible for transforming Malaysia into a global kleptocracy must be brought to justice, even those in the second and third-tier leadership positions," he stressed.

Lim, however, suggested the government also consider introducing an "amnesty programme" that would allow the cleaning-out process to be carried out in a just manner.

No parliamentary interference

Daim had on Aug 20 announced that the CEP's mandate was officially over and its report would be submitted to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mahathir.

At the time, Daim had declined to reveal exactly what was in their report as he said that "these are for the prime minister".

Daim also said the council members are bound by the Official Secrets Act.

Mahathir later indicated that the full report might not be made public which was greeted by opposition from several Harapan lawmakers who argued that Malaysians deserved to know the outcome of CEP's findings.

On the issue of judges' appointments, Lim noted the subject was of considerable debate over the past few days following Mahathir's announcement that future candidates for judicial appointments would be scrutinised and filtered by Parliament before their nominations are sent to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Among others, Lim said National Human Rights Society (Hakam) chairperson and former Malaysian Bar president Ambiga Sreenevasan had voiced her opposition to Mahathir's proposal as judicial appointments should be independent of political or parliamentary interference.

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