G25 wants sweeping reforms to key public institutions

KUALA LUMPUR: The G25 group of eminent Malays has recommended sweeping reforms to key public institutions to make them independent of political interference.

"Institutional reforms are very important in bringing back confidence to the economy and creating a check and balance to avoid abuse of power," G25 founding member Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim (pic) told reporters after meeting the Committee of Institutional Reforms (IRC) at Ilham Tower on Thursday (May 31).

He cited the examples of setting up a commission for the appointment of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner and creation of an independent public prosecutor's office separate from the Attorney-General's Chambers.

"For example, the MACC will be answerable to the commission which is then answerable to Parliament," he added.

Mohd Sheriff also said that the police force and the hiring of senior heads of government departments should be independent of political interference.

Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin said that the reforms, if implemented, would do away with the "culture of fear".

"You must take away the power to hire and fire from the Prime Minister.

"The Prime Minister should have no say whatsoever on the appointments of these key positions," she said.

Besides doing away with the Biro Tatanegara (BTN), Noor Farida said the group also proposed that the Institute of Islamic Strategic Research Malaysia (Iksim) be abolished.

"Iksim should be abolished as we are not sure what they are doing but maligning other Muslims as apostates and liberals," she claimed.

She added that the recommendations include a review by the Conference of Rulers on the role of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim).

On political funding, Mohd Sheriff said it should be transparent and regulated, covering donations made to individual and parties.

The IRC was set up on May 15 and is chaired by retired judge of the Court of Appeal Datuk K.C. Vohrah with four other members of the committee comprising retired Court of Appeal judge and Suhakam commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai; National Patriots Association president Brig-Jen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji; Tunku Abdul Rahman Professor of Law at Universiti Malaya Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi and National Human Rights Society (Hakam) president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.

The IRC comes under the purview of the Council of Eminent Persons.

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