Archive for December 12th, 2008

MACC – principles of indepencence and parliamentary accountability too watered down

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Bill is so watered down that the principles of its independence from the Prime Minister’s control and accountability/responsibility to Parliament can be quite tenuous and even fictitious.

The original intention to amend the Constitution to give the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission a constitutional status has been abandoned while there is no clear-cut provision to establish its responsibility and accountability to Parliament.

Five bodies will be set up under the MACC Bill to hold a close watch over the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to ensure its independence, transparency and integrity, viz: Anti-Corruption Advisory Board; Special Committee on Corruption; Operations Review Panel; Corruption Prevention and Consultative Council; and a Complaints Committee.

However, all these five scrutinizing bodies, including the Special Committee on Corruption which is to comprise of Parliamentarians, are all beholden to the Prime Minister or the Executive, making nonsense of the principle of parliamentary responsibility of the MACC. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia in vortex of “Embassy Row” in Washington

Washington Times
Embassy Row
James Morrison
Thursday, December 11, 2008


Malaysian political insiders are aghast over reports that a former ambassador to the United States is lobbying to regain his old position in Washington and hoping to win diplomatic approval quietly from the outgoing Bush administration to avoid scrutiny from the Obama White House.

Abdul Khalid Ghazzali, ambassador here from 1999 to 2006, left Washington under a cloud because of his connections to former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty to corruption charges a few months before Mr. Ghazzali returned to Malaysia and resigned from the foreign service.

The controversy erupted in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, after the Web blog, Malaysia Today, recently reported that Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi planned to reappoint Mr. Ghazzali. Members of Parliament later raised questions about the reports. A spokesman for the Malaysian Embassy in Washington said the government has made “no formal announcement” about a new ambassador. Read the rest of this entry »