PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should be legally supervised by Parliament and given its own prosecution powers, says Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim.
The Special Committee on Corruption (SCC) chairman suggested that Article 145 of the Federal Constitution be amended so that MACC would be answerable to Parliament.
"With the constitutional amendment, MACC will be empowered to prosecute while the Attorney General can delegate prosecutorial powers to the anti-graft body," said Rais.
He added that amending Section 14 or 15 of the MACC Act will also allow it to come under the purview of Parliament, where the legislative body is not allowed to interfere with MACC’s prosecution powers.
"We cannot run away from this. We need to free Malaysia from the stigma of being a centre of corruption," the Dewan Negara president was quoted as saying by Utusan Malaysia.
He added that the provisions under Article 145 are outdated and needed a new lease of life suited for current times.
"The provisions have not been revised since our independence. It was brought in by the Reid Commission in 1957.
"We are still using colonial laws even though we are an independent country.
"The amendments will allow MACC to be monitored by Parliament, not the executive branch. The executive branch means the prime minister. Whether we like it or not, there will be some influence on MACC or its chief if it is under the executive," Rais added.
He said this is why MACC must be empowered to prosecute and this must be in our laws.
This is not the first time Rais had brought up the issue.
In January, it was reported that recommendations were made for MACC to be answerable to Parliament, and that Rais had said that MACC had to be independent just like the judiciary.