Star - Cenbet: Making key govt agencies report to Parliament will boost independence
Monday, July 02, 2018
PETALING JAYA: The decision to have nine key government agencies report to Parliament, including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is the right move by the new Pakatan Harapan government to enhance transparency and accountability.

“Being powerful agencies funded by public money, these institutions rightfully should report directly to Parliament,” said Centre for A Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) vice-president Datuk Simon Lim Seng Chai.

On Monday (July 2), The Star published that nine agencies will report directly to Parliament, starting July.

Apart from MACC, these are the Election Commission (EC), the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), the Public Prosecutor's Office and the National Audit Department.


Lim said these institutions are not to serve the government of the day, but to ensure the peoples’ interests are upheld.

In the past, he said, there was widespread perception that many of these key institutions lacked independence.

“This corroborated with our surveys which revealed that only 29% of the respondents trusted the previous federal government.”

Lim said having these institutions report directly to Parliament will free them from undue political "interference" and pressure.

“The move would lay the foundations for a free, inclusive and more open Malaysia.”

Lim added that the government should also consider going a step further by setting up a Parliamentary Select Committee to oversee these institutions.

“This bipartisan committee (from the ruling government and the Opposition) will help ensure sufficient checks-and-balances, even if Parliament is dominated by one party or coalition.”

Lim said this will also reinforce Pakatan Harapan's pre-election promise to make institutional reforms.

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