Form parliamentary committee to pick new MACC chief, G25 tells Putrajaya

G25 called for outgoing MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed (pictured) to be replaced by someone picked by a Parliamentary Select Committee. — File pic
G25 called for outgoing MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed (pictured) to be replaced by someone picked by a Parliamentary Select Committee. — File pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Lobby group G25 urged today for the formation of a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to scrutinise and pick the right candidate to replace Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed who would be leaving next month.

In a statement today, the group said such an open measure is needed when appointing key positions in the government, as investors too have begun paying more attention to government transparency.

“During the select committee hearings, the members of Parliament, as committee members representing the voice of the people, will examine whether the government is justified in choosing the most qualified persons based on criteria that is published,” the group said, adding that the government can pick it’s nominees but have the PSC scrutinise their eligibility.

“The candidates shortlisted and given to the Parliamentary Committee for selection shall include both internal candidates in the MACC as well candidates outside the agency.

“Members of the public including professional and civil society organisations which have specific objections will be allowed to make their presentations to the Parliamentary Select Committee,” G25 added.

The group pointed to Indonesia as a testament of success in its fight against corruption, after appointing its anti-graft chief via a parliamentary committee.

“The changes in the Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi, KPK (Corruption Eradication Commission) and appointment of its Chief Commissioner by a Parliamentary Committee and approved by the President have helped improve Indonesia’s ranking in the global measurement of corruption indices.

“It has also contributed to enhancing investor confidence in the long-term economic potential of Indonesia,” G25 said, pointing out that the republic is the recipient of the largest share of Asean’s inward investments, at 31 per cent of the total foreign direct investments in the region.

G25 said that the Putrajaya must consider the same move after what it labelled as an “erosion of confidence” in the public towards the government, relating to the professionalism of its top officials in managing issue relating to race, religion and financial misappropriation.

Last month, Abu Kassim announced he would be stepping down as the MACC chief commissioner on August 1, but denied doing so under pressure from any party.

Abu Kassim was appointed MACC chief commissioner in 2010 and had previously served in various capacities within the commission and its predecessor, the Anti-Corruption Agency.

Putrajaya has since said it will choose Abu Kassim’s replacement carefully, and pick somebody of the “highest integrity” from the existing pool of competent, senior MACC officers.

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