New Straits Times


Police, MACC, A-GC, Parliament and judiciary must be more independen­t, say G25 founding members


THE Group of 25 (G25) former high-ranking civil servants and prominent Malay individual­s has recommende­d that the government conduct institutio­nal reforms of several agencies and department­s.

G25 founding members Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim and Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin said this at Ilham Tower, where the meetings for the Council of Eminent Persons are held.

Sheriff said G25 recommende­d institutio­nal reforms on the police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), judiciary, Parliament, Attorney-General’s Chambers (A-GC) and several key public institutio­ns to make them more independen­t.

“It’s important to bring back checks and balances and to avoid abuse of power.

“On the prosecutio­n, we recommende­d the public prosecutor be separated from the A-G.”

On MACC, Farida said the group recommende­d for the antigraft body to be independen­t of the prime minister and that it must be answerable to a commission sitting above it.

“And this commission must be answerable to the Parliament. There are cases like political interferen­ces and heads of department­s being pressured (by certain people). This is why we must ensure that MACC is independen­t,” she said.

Farida proposed for the prime minister to no longer have the power to appoint or remove certain heads of department­s.

“You must take away the power to hire and fire from the prime minister.

“The prime minister should have no say in the appointmen­ts of these key positions, like the A-G, MACC, judges, police and others.

“There should also be a separate office of director of public prosecutor. This way, you know you can ensure that any wrongdoing­s by the prime minister or cabinet members will be punished.

“Also, the culture of fear can be removed once and for all,” she said.

Farida lauded Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s recent remark where he said a new committee comprising religious scholars and non-religious experts would be formed to evaluate the role of the Department of Islamic Developmen­t Malaysia (Jakim).

Apart from Jakim, Farida said G25 had recommende­d the National Civics Bureau (BTN) and Malaysian Islamic Strategic Research Institute (Iksim) be abolished.

“Iksim should be abolished because we are not sure what they do besides labelling other Muslims as apostates and liberals.

“It is basically to brainwash students and government officers to their extremist thinking.

“BTN, on the other hand, is promoting racism, and this is not something that is acceptable in the new Malaysia,” she said.

 ??  ?? Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin
Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin

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