KUALA LUMPUR: The government is thinking of setting up an independent law commission to look into reforms, says Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong.
The de facto Law Minister said Malaysia was probably one of very few Commonwealth countries that did not have a law commission.
Describing it as the way forward, he added that such a commission would make recommendations or proposals for legal changes or restructuring.
“The law commission can be chaired by a retired judge or professor of law and (comprise) legal practitioners who will assist by looking into various law reforms, ” he told reporters during an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia on Thursday (Sept 12).
Liew said as a minister in charge of law, he was not necessarily an expert in dealing with reforms to existing laws, although he was a lawyer himself.
“We need somebody who is experienced and a body to look into the various law reforms that will deal with the various issues in regard to public opinion, ” he said.
He added that currently, various ministries would look into possible law reforms, but this was not as independent compared to if they were conducted by a law commission.
“The modus operandi would be that if a ministry decides to have a particular law introduced, they can inform the law commission to do that.
“After the commission has looked into it and dealt with the relevant stakeholders, they will draft the law and give it back to the Attorney General's Chambers for its approval, ” he said.
He said when a law is eventually brought to Parliament for debate, there would be more substantive arguments instead of “petty” issues.
He said the government had looked into the various commissions in England, Scotland, New Zealand and Australia.
“We have already come out with the white paper. As soon as we have gone through the consultation process with all the relevant stakeholders, the paper will be tabled before the Cabinet for approval, ” he said.