Make it so 1MDB never happens again, says Ambiga

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Source: The Malaysian Insight

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan is one of the committee members of the Institutional Reforms Committee comprising legal experts as well as retired judges. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

THE Institutional Reform Committee’s job is to initiate reforms so that something like 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) never happens again, said IRC member Ambiga Sreenevasan.

Ambiga said the committee’s task was not to investigate 1MDB, but to ensure reforms were made in institutions and agencies.

The IRC gave seven immediate recommendations to the Council of Eminent Persons, which it met today.

Ambiga said the recommendations prioritised combating corruption.

“We are not looking at the 1MDB case per se. We are looking at institutional reforms of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, and other agencies like the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

“We are looking at all that because we don’t ever want to have another 1MDB in this country,” she told reporters at the Ilham Tower after meeting the council.

“The biggest issue is corruption, without a doubt, and appointing the right people to these institutions. That’s the priority,” said Ambiga, who is also the National Human Rights Society’s chairman.

Malaysia has reopened investigations into 1MDB following Pakatan Harapan’s takeover of Putrajaya in the May 9 election.

The government has also set up a special 1MDB task force, comprising former attorney-generals Abu Talib Othman and Abdul Gani Patail, MACC chief commissioner Shukri Abdull, his predecessor Abu Kassim Mohamed, and former Special Branch deputy director Abdul Hamid Bador.

Another IRC member, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia chief commissioner Mah Weng Kwai, said the committee had also been submitting regular reports to the council, and a final one was due by mid-July.

“Our (fourth and) final report will be done before middle of July. All the reports will, of course, be considered by the council and the government.

“It’s not only the legal aspect of things. It will definitely go as far as the country’s economic position. All of this will be part and parcel of the reforms,” he said.

Mah said the IRC had received a lot of input from the public, which had been helpful.

“Our job has been much easier because of the positivity from everyone that has talked to us.

“Everybody has good ideas and they want to move forward from the bad situation we were previously in,” he said.

When asked if the IRC was looking at judicial reform, Ambiga said the committee was studying structures and processes, rather than scrutinising individuals.

The IRC was established on May 15 and will present its findings and recommendations to the council, which will then present its report to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Besides Ambiga and Mah, the committee consists of three other members, which are retired judge of the Court of Appeal K.C. Vohrah, National Patriots Association president Brigadier-General (Retired) Mohamed Arshad Raji, and Universiti Malaya law professor Shad Saleem Faruqi. – June 19, 2018.