The Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) report should be tabled as a White Paper in Parliament and a Parliamentary Select Committee on Institutional Reforms formed on the CEP proposals to be implemented, including the system for the appointment of judges
The Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) report should be tabled as a White Paper in Parliament and a Parliamentary Select Committee on Institutional Reforms formed on the CEP proposals to be implemented, including the system for the appointment of judges.
Recently, the CEP chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin called on the government to make the CEP’s recommendations available to the public.
He said that as part of the CEP's efforts to look into the government finances, it had interviewed more than 300 individuals, including bankers, businessmen, civil servants, civil society members and union officials.
Those interviews had revealed a culture of turning a blind eye towards corruption.
Hence, Daim said this time around it would take the country's economy a much longer time to recover compared to the past.
The problem described by Daim is a serious one, and its full magnitude must be made known to the public so that Malaysians as a whole can understand why the country has fallen on “hard times” financially and must be prepared to tighten their belts and even make sacrifices in the immediate future to tide over the national crisis created by the previous kleptocratic administration.
Recently, there was making the rounds on the social media the astronomical remuneration of directors and top executives of a high-profile GLC, raising the question whether there should be greater transparency for all high earners in the country, especially in GLCs.
The main culprits responsible for transforming Malaysia into a global kleptocracy must be brought to justice, and even those in the second and third-tier leadership positions.
But it may be prudent to devise an amnesty programme with firm preconditions to allow the entire government machinery and the country to turn away from the kleptocratic past and focus on building a New Malaysia where there the nation can become a “tiger economy” with justice for all Malaysians.
The appointment of judges has been the subject of considerable debate in the past few days, after the Prime Minister. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad announced that future candidates for judicial appointments would be scrutinised and filtered by Parliament before their nominations are sent to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Stating her opposition to Mahathir’s proposal, National Human Rights Society (Hakam) chairperson and former Malaysian Bar president Ambiga Sreenevasan said the appointment of judges should never be under the scrutiny of the Parliament, as judicial appointments should be independent of any political or parliamentary interference.
She suggested instead the strengthening of the Judicial Appointments Commission.
The Parliamentary Select Committee on Institutional Reforms will be the proper forum to study a new system for the appointment of judges to ensure that the doctrine of the separation of powers among the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary is maintained and that there is just rule of law and independent judiciary in Malaysia.