MACC to reactivate oversight panels (Updated)

17 Jul 2019 / 12:52 H.

PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will reactivate its five external oversight bodies in a move to make it more effective.

MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya told Bernama yesterday the entities were essential to enable the anti-graft agency to perform its duties effectively, independently and professionally.

The five high-profile oversight bodies are:

>> Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (ACAB);

>> Special Committee on Corruption (SCC);

>> Complaints Committee (CC),

>> Operations Review Panel (ORP); and

>> Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel (CCPP).

Latheefa said some of the entities had remained “dormant” while awaiting the appointment of new members.

However, she said it was not within her powers to appoint those members.

“It is under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department and the Home Ministry.”

The five panels were put in place in 2009 by then premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi before he stepped down, but the terms of the members in at least three of the committees were not renewed when they expired after 2016 when Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak was prime minister, perhaps because some of the members had become increasingly vocal in calling for investigations into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal.

In an immediate reaction, two former panellists expressed support for the move.

Assoc Prof Datuk Dr P. Sundramoorthy, who previously sat in the ORP, said it would enhance the integrity of the commission.

However, he said it was paramount that the selection be made with “great foresight and care” and only those prepared to commit themselves to the cause should be picked.

Veteran journalist R. Nadeswaran, who previously sat in the CCPP, said it would help to ensure check-and-balance and would bring greater public confidence to MACC.

Meanwhile, criminal lawyer K.A. Ramu said panel members should also be approachable in the exchange of ideas or recommendations of other government agencies and the public.

Another former panel member, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, felt MACC would have to justify reactivating the five entities.

“I don’t see any reason for it unless MACC cannot cope. For instance, if they do not have enough equipment or staff,” he said.

“Or unless they admit that the closure of these five entities is affecting the quality of MACC (operations), so they have to reopen them to enhance their standard, quality and effectiveness.”

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