DEc 12, 2008
PAKATAN Rakyat will convene a meeting next week to decide on a common stand on the two reform bills tabled by the prime minister on Wednesday.
They are the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) Bills.
Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) said both bills fell far short of expectations and promises of anti-corruption and judicial reforms.
"A meeting will be held next week to decide on the common stand to be taken by Pakatan Rakyat MPs next week," he said at Parliament lobby yesterday.
On the MACC Bill, Lim said the prime minister's influence and control through various provisions was still overpowering and sufficient to undermine its independence and autonomy.
He said the JAC Bill was also a letdown as the prime minister could ignore the recommendations of the Judicial Appointments Commission to propose his candidates for judicial appointments and promotions.
Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) said there was a need to fine-tune the MACC Bill.
"We have reservations over the bill although we recognise that it is a positive step forward.
"However, there is a need to allay concerns over the prosecution powers of the commission. We felt it should have full powers to prosecute," he said at Parliament lobby.
The MACC Bill gives power to the commission head to prosecute non-criminal cases. However, the Attorney-General can still get involved, if there is a need for it.
Guan Eng said Article 145 of the Federal Constitution, which sets out the role and powers of the A-G, should be amended to ensure full independence of the commission.
"The commission should have prosecution powers without any interference from the A-G. We want the commission to be independent and to do so, it must have full power."
He proposed that the prime minister arrange a briefing on the bill with all MPs to answer their queries.
On the JAC Bill, Guan Engsaid the party had reservations as it was still subject to the prime minister's powers.