KUALA LUMPUR: The Institutional Reforms Committee (IRC) will be submitting its final report to the Council of Eminent Persons soon, with seven key recommendations.
Top of its list of key recommendations are reforms concerning zero tolerance in corruption, the Election Commission, Parliament, proper vetting of candidates in holding key positions in government, and the abolishment of certain ‘oppressive’ laws.
IRC member Datuk Mah Weng Kwai, who is a former Court of Appeal judge and ex-Suhakam commissioner, said the committee has so far submitted four interim reports with recommendations.
“Our final report will be given in July. It is up to the council and the government to consider (the recommendations),” he said.
Mah was speaking to reporters after the committee’s meeting with the council at Ilham Tower on Tuesday.
Other IRC members are Datuk K.C. Vohrah, who is IRC chairman and former Court of Appeal Judge; Brig-Gen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji, who is National Patriots Association president; Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, Tunku Abdul Rahman Professor of Law at Universiti Malaya; and Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, who is National Human Rights Society president.
Mah said the committee’s recommendations revolve not only on legal matters but also those pertaining to the economy.
"When all reform targets are in place, we will have a corruption-free society that is efficient, with integrity. When this is achieved, people will be happy to invest in Malaysia,” he said.
Mah said the public would also welcome an independent judiciary with a good system and environment, which would imbue them with confidence in the legal system.
Mah said since the formation of the committee, about 1,000 over recommendations have been received from members of the public and stakeholders.
Fellow committee member, Prof Shad Saleem, said parliamentary reforms are important as they play a number of key functions.
"Laws are made in Parliament. The central executive is there, which also looks at the nation's financial and constitutional matters. We need principles and procedures in order for Parliament to become more ethical,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ambiga said some recommendations made are of immediate concern, such as institutional reforms in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), police and Attorney-General’s Chambers.
" The biggest issue we are facing are corruption and appointing the right people in key government institutions," she said.
To a question on whether there was a need to decentralise powers at the Prime Minister's Office, she replied, " We are looking at the executive powers at PMO and on how that can be changed."
Ambiga said the committee is also looking at the functions of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) and also status of other laws such as the Anti Fake News Act and Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, better known as Sosma.