PM is now hands-off from MACC and auditor-general, says Dr M

Dr Mahathir says the auditor-general will be made answerable to Parliament.

PUTRAJAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad today announced major reforms involving the position of the auditor-general and chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), giving them more independence from the government.

“The PM won’t have a say and the government can’t punish, fire or demote any officer in the auditor-general’s department,” the prime minister said.

He said the auditor-general would be made answerable to Parliament, while a parliamentary select committee (PSC) would oversee the appointment of the MACC chief commissioner after evaluation by independent stakeholders.

“We hope these measures will reduce room for corruption,” Mahathir told reporters after a meeting with the Cabinet Committee on Government Management Integrity (JKKMAR) at his office today.

The auditor-general’s department will also be renamed as the Office of the Auditor-General of Malaysia, with a separate and special budget policy.

Mahathir said other reforms promised by the Pakatan Harapan government would take longer to achieve, particularly those requiring two-thirds majority votes in the Dewan Rakyat.

“Some reforms require a constitutional amendment, where we need a two-thirds majority,” he said, adding the support from the opposition was needed to implement the reforms.

He said the reforms would also include limiting a prime minister’s tenure to two terms and empowering the Parliament.

“We have decided just now, we move very fast. Immediately after this, we will talk to the opposition,” Mahathir said when asked PH component parties had been consulted on the latest decision.