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IRC lists eight key institutions for reform in final report to CEP

July 20, 2018

The Institutional Reforms Committee (IRC) has made recommendations pertaining to eight key institutions after a series of stakeholder meetings and going through over 1,000 written submissions.

The recommendations were compiled into a report which was presented to the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) at Ilham Tower today, according to a statement signed by the five committee members led by its chairperson, retired Court of Appeal judge KC Vohrah.

“These recommendations are what we consider to be necessary steps for the reforms that the country needs,” said the IRC.

According to the IRC’s statement, the eight key institutions are: Parliament; elections; the judiciary; law officers and legal service; anti-corruption; police and immigration; communications media and information; as well as human rights institutions and law.

“In the course of the committee’s work, we also made several immediate recommendations to the Council of Eminent Persons on matters which we considered to be urgent, most of which have been incorporated in the report,” said the IRC, adding that it would also be meeting with the council later this week for a briefing on the recommendations.

From the total number of written submissions received, the IRC noted that there were points raised which go beyond the scope of its study but requires attention from the government.

“We are referring these to the relevant government agencies for their action,” said the IRC.

“There were (also) several areas of national importance which could not be sufficiently dealt with in this short period of time.

“We have recommended that further studies be conducted on these issues,” the IRC further said.

The IRC, after its first press conference on May 17, named the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Judicial Appointments Commission, the police force, the MACC and the Election Commission among the institutions to be reviewed.

It also said that laws seen to be affecting fundamental liberties will also be studied, including the Anti-Fake News Act 2018, Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and certain aspects of the Official Secrets Act 1972.

The other IRC members are National Human Rights Society (Hakam) president Ambiga Sreenevasan, retired Court of Appeal judge and National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) commissioner Mah Weng Kwai, National Patriots Association president Mohamed Arshad Raji and Universiti Malaya law professor Shad Saleem Faruqi.

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