By Vice-President, Datuk Simon Lim Seng Chai on Decision To Place Key Government Agencies Under Parliament
Monday, July 02, 2018
The decision to place nine key agencies under Parliament is the right move to enhance transparency and accountability - ideals championed and promoted by CENBET. Being powerful agencies funded by public money, they rightfully should report directly to Parliament. These institutions are not to serve the government of the day, but to ensure that the peoples' interests are upheld.

In the past, there's widespread perception that many of these key institutions lacked independence. This corroborated with our survey findings which revealed low trust levels with institutions. Among others, our survey found that only 29% of respondents found the previous Federal government trustworthy. The survey findings were released in a media conference early last month.

Having these institutions report directly to Parliament will free them from undue political interference and pressure. Kudos to the government for realizing the wishes of the people and civil society organisations like ours. This will lay the foundations for a freer, inclusive and more open Malaysia.

The government should also consider going a step further by setting up a Parliamentary Select Committee to oversee these institutions. This bipartisan committee will help ensure sufficient check-and-balances, even if Parliament is dominated by one party or coalition. This will underlie the government's commitment to institutional reforms pledge made before the last general election.

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