DATUK Seri Anwar Ibrahim has directed the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to look into setting up an independent body to investigate cases or complaints made against enforcement agencies.
The Prime Minister said there should be an independent body to investigate enforcement agencies and this had been Pakatan Harapan’s stand.
“I remember this and will not budge from this stand.
“I have directed the AGC to study if a mechanism can be set up where complaints can be made against enforcement agencies,” he said when answering a supplementary question raised by Gobind Singh Deo (PH-Damansara).
Gobind had asked if the administration would consider setting up an independent body to handle complaints against enforcement agencies and for the body to be answerable to Parliament.
The Prime Minister said this initiative would be an alternative to these agencies having to investigate themselves.
“By having the mechanism in place, another body that is independent will be tasked with the investigation.
“Whether the mechanism will be in the form of a commission, this has yet to be determined,” he said.
Gobind said that although agencies such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has its own internal mechanism to probe complaints of abuse by their officers, this was insufficient as such bodies were not independent.
“We cannot have a situation where when there is a complaint, high-ranking MACC officers are investigated by the MACC itself. There is no independence,” he said.
To a question by Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (PN-Masjid Tanah), the Prime Minister said there were no issues if the appointment of the MACC chief commissioner is referred to a bi-partisan Parliamentary Special Select Committee.
“I have no problems with such a process but the process must be respected,” he said.
He said the AGC will have to first study the proposal before it could be brought to a special select committee.
Mas Ermieyati had also asked whether Tan Sri Azam Baki’s tenure as MACC chief commissioner would be continued or a new commissioner would be appointed to replace him.
She said that Azam’s appointment in March 2020 was during Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration.
Anwar said while the appointment came before he led the administration, Azam was promoted to the post due to his capabilities and independence.
“That is why when I assumed power, I chose not to change the MACC chief commissioner chosen by Pagoh (Muhyiddin), so as to avoid the impression that a new prime minister would pick a new MACC chief,” he added.
There had been calls including from Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) for key appointments in the government to come under the purview of Parliament to ensure transparency and independence of such appointments.