Make MACC fully independent, says Tricia

KUCHING: The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs has developed measures to help the government in fighting corruption.

The institute’s chief operating officer, Tricia Yeoh, said IDEAS proposes that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission be raised to a constitutionally mandated Independent Anti-Corruption Commission with security of tenure for its 15 commissioners.

Parts of the MACC Act should also be amended to give more investigative powers to the relevant bodies and that other relevant laws such as the Official Secrets Act, Whistleblower Protection Act and Witness Protection Act be improved.

Laws should also be introduced to enable freedom of information and asset declarations, and the roles of the Attorney-General and Public Prosecutor should be separated.

Yeoh said the proposals were developed after a year-long consultation with stakeholders such as Senator Paul Low, the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department who oversees integrity issues; former Senate president Abu Zahar Ujang, former MACC Chief Commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed, lawyers and judges as well as the public.

Speaking at the launch of the institute’s #NyahKorupsi campaign in East Malaysia, Yeoh said measures against corruption needed the support of all Malaysians.

However, people did not fully appreciate the limitations on MACC in the current system, which had left Malaysia behind other countries such as Indonesia, India and Hong Kong.

The #NyahKorupsi campaign was to reform anti-corruption efforts through legal and institutional changes.

“We want to come up with better ideas to fight corruption and that is why we talk to everyone regardless of their political colours,” she said.

“We have been working hard to inform MPs from the government and opposition parties about the need for this reform so that they can work on a cross-partisan basis on this issue of national importance,” she said.

She said the Global Financial Integrity Report had shown that Malaysia lost RM199.71 billion through illegal outflow of money in 2012 alone.