Anwar agrees on need for independent body to study complaints against enforcement agencies

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has directed the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) to consider the setting up of an independent complaints mechanism against enforcement agencies.

"I have directed the AGC to study how to set up a mechanism where complaints can be made against the Customs, police, Immigration, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and any other enforcement agency.

"This could be in the form of a commission," he said when answering a supplementary question raised by Gobind Singh Deo (PH-Damansara) in Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (March 28).

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Anwar said he agreed with Gobind that there should be an independent body to investigate enforcement agencies, which was a call made by Pakatan Harapan when serving as the Opposition.

"I remember and will not budge from this stand.

"Previously, the Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) was set up but there were questions raised as to why only the police and not other enforcement agencies," he said.

Gobind asked if the current administration would consider setting up an independent body to handle complaints against enforcement agencies.

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Although agencies, such as the MACC, had its own internal mechanisms to probe complaints of abuse by their officers, Gobind said this was insufficient as such bodies were not independent.

To a question by Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (PN-Masjid Tanah), Anwar said that he had no issues if the appointment of the post of MACC chief commissioner is referred to a bi-partisan Parliamentary Special Select Committee.

"I have no problems with such a process and such a process must be respected," he said.

Mas Ermieyati made the suggestion, asking if the tenure of Tan Sri Azam Baki would be continued or a new commissioner would be appointed to replace him.

She said that Azam was appointed to head the MACC in March 2020 during the former administration of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Anwar acknowledged that Azam was appointed during his predecessor's tenure but said that the MACC chief was appointed due to his capabilities and independence.

There had been calls from Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) including Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Johari Abdul for key appointments in the government to come under the purview of Parliament to ensure transparency and independence of such appointments.

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