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Government not ready to reveal recommendations for reforms

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

PUTRAJAYA — January 11, 2019: While it claims to have acted out some recommendations from the Institutional Reforms Committee (IRC), the government has no plans to make these public despite calls to do so.

Minister in the Prime Minister Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said that while the committee submitted the report six months ago, it was being used as a reference in preparing the reform agenda.

“The Cabinet has given the report to the GIACC (National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption) since it is a stakeholder of the report. Some recommendations have been adopted,” he said after the opening of the Legal Year 2019 event here today.

But Liew did not elaborate on the recommendations the government has adopted. He nonetheless said ministry officers have been meeting other government agencies on the recommendations.

“For example, yesterday we discussed the matter with JKKMAR (Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption),” said Liew.

The IRC was formed after Pakatan Harapan formed the government in May and was given the mandate to gather suggestions from the public on institutional reform. It was placed under the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP).

Civil society and lawyer groups, including the Bar Council, have been asking for the report to be made public.

“For a better and more inclusive consultative process, the Malaysian Bar calls on the Government to publish the report of the committee to obtain feedback from the people,” said Bar Council president George Varughese in his speech at the event.

CEP chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin had also echoed similar call last August but acknowledged that it is the government’s prerogative to disclose the IRC report, which had, according to news reports, received about 1,000 suggestions from the public.

The IRC comprised retired Court of Appeal judge Datuk K.C. Vohrah, Malaysian Human Rights commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai, National Patriots Association president Brigadier-General (R) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji, constitutional law expert Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi and National Human Rights Society president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.


Additional reporting by: Shaira Idris

 

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Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.