Institutional reforms can restore confidence

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 27 Mar 2016

PETALING JAYA: Institutional reforms are essential in Malaysia to create a high level of confidence in the country’s governance, says the G25 pro-moderation movement.

The group of reform-minded Malaysians said it was watching the current state of politics with concern.

“While it is normal in vibrant democratic systems for there to be leadership changes from time to time, these should not cause anxieties and tensions, especially in the business community,” said G25 in a statement.

It said that strong institutions played an important role in providing an assurance of stability and continuity, irrespective of the political changes at the top.

G25 said that it was important to safe-guard the integrity and independence of key government agencies involved in the maintenance of justice, such as the police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Comm­i­ssion (MACC), Bank Negara, Attorney-General’s Cham­bers and the judiciary.

The group said that the police should be free of ministerial control, the MACC should be directly responsible to Parliament rather than to the prime minister, the central bank should have powers to ensure its independence, the A-G’s office and public prosecutor be separate and act autonomously, and the promotion of judges be determined by an independent body rather than the prime minister.

G25 said the excess and abuse of power would reduce if Parliament played an oversight role.

“The role of Parliament is not only to pass legislation. It should also follow up in monitoring how the ministers and the civil servants perform in carrying out their responsibilities,” it said.

G25 also called for a consultative process to be set up to provide all stakeholders and civil society with the opportunity to deliberate on the formulation of syariah laws.

“We maintain that in legislating Islamic laws in the respective state assemblies, all Malaysians should be consulted on the constitutional issues arising from the legislation proposed by the religious authorities.”

G25 noted that the Government had taken concrete steps to improve the quality of education, with the introduction of the Dual Language Programme and emphasis on higher-order thinking skills.

“G25 strongly recommends that we return to championing the national philosophy and ideology as embodied in the Rukun Negara to restore a stronger sense of unity among all segments of the population in Malaysia,” it said.

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