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LETTER | Enforcement agencies must be independent

LETTER | There is a great urgency now for the MACC and police to come under the purview of Parliament.

The recent course of events where a former prime minister who has been convicted and presently serving a prison sentence, is now followed by another ex-prime minister who has been charged with corruption and abuse of power.

In both scenarios, the enforcement agencies only swung into definitive action with indictments, after a change of government.

Allegations of selective prosecution and persecution are rife and have some credible relevance, in view of the coincidental action linking the two former prime ministers to the said government change.

The criminal justice system cannot afford this image of misuse - both in our socio-political landscape and on the international platform.

We are in dire need of both our major enforcement agencies to become more independent, accountable to Parliament and totally subservient to the evidence gathered.

Former prime ministers Najib Abdul Razak (left) and Muhyiddin Yassin

Their subservience to the executive must be eliminated or drastically reduced.

I am also of the opinion that no enforcement agency be given prosecutorial powers in view of the fact that it weakens the checks and balances within the paradigm of separation of powers in the criminal justice system.

Fusing the “two limbs” of the investigative and prosecutorial powers will lead to too much power in the hands of any enforcement agency.

It will also not be in line with the spirit of the intended checks and balances within the criminal justice system. The separation of the public prosecutor’s office from the attorney-general will go a long and effective way in enhancing these checks and balances.

And it is imperative that this proposal be implemented as soon as possible.

The Pakatan Harapan government must act swiftly in making this reform a priority, as time is of the essence with our political landscape being so volatile.

Investigations and prosecutions carried out by the respective agencies must be consistent and proactive when it comes to responding to any credible evidence that is made available.

This is to ensure that justice will be delivered firmly without delay and without fear or favour - regardless of the position and influence of those in the corridors of political power.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.