PM: PSC to approve key govt appointments

The govt has launched RR 2.0, a mobile app for the public to submit complaints and feedback on the public service


MAJOR appointments in the government commissions will be decided by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), said Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture).

According to the PM, the PSC will decide on the appointments of chairmen and members of the Election Commission Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Judicial Appointments Commission and Human Rights Commission.

“We have agreed to establish a format and procedure to allow the select committee to appoint the major positions in the public service.

“The government agrees that there are several appointments that should be consulted with the select committee, to enable the government to elect a fit and proper candidate,” Dr Mahathir said after chairing the ninth Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption Meeting in Putrajaya yesterday.

He added that the decision was based on one of the recommendations made by the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption.

For the appointment of MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya last month, Dr Mahathir said it was done based on available procedures stated in the constitution.

The PM also said the government has agreed to review the role and responsibility of a political secretary of the ministers to avoid any abuse of power.

“The role of a political secretary was proposed to help the minister or MPs be closer to his or her constituents.

“However, nowadays, we see that those being appointed in the previous government abused their position by distributing (government) contracts. That is not the role of a political secretary.

“That is why we want to make clear of what their roles really are,” he said.

Commenting on some discrepancies revealed by the auditor-general’s (A-G) report, Dr Mahathir said the committee has recommended the government to amend the Audit Act 1957 to give more independence to the National Audit Department.

He added that the recommendation is to avoid any instruction to tamper the report like what was done in the past.

“Although the A-G is under the Prime Minister’s Office, but it does not mean that the PM has the authority over the A-G’s decision.

“In the past, the PM has instructed the A-G to alter the audits, that is wrong.

“The A-G must be free to take action of what he or she thinks,” he said.

Among other decisions from the committee meeting are the formulation for the Freedom of Information Act to replace the Official Secrets Act and the scope of Government Procurement Act which will be tabled in Parliament in the middle of 2020, to be prepared by the Finance Ministry.

Separately, Dr Mahathir said he does not want to be dragged into PKR’s infighting.

When asked if the verbal war between the PKR leaders is a liability to the government, he said it is not his priority to interfere with the matter.

“That is for you to make an assessment. I don’t have to think about this. I have lots of other things to think about, including answering your questions,” he said.

Responding to a question on whether the spat between Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali would delay the transition of power for the PM post, Dr Mahathir said: “That is in the future. We will cross the bridge when we come to it.”

Anwar and Azmin continued to exchange remarks over the issue of a sex video implicating the latter with former Santubong PKR youth leader Haziq Aziz.

Meanwhile, the government has launched the Respons Rakyat (RR) 2.0, a mobile application that allows the public to submit complaints and feedback on the public service.

The RR 2.0 was introduced to replace Rakyat Responz, established by the Public Complaints Bureau (BPA) in May 2016.

According to BPA statistics, 2,089 complaints were made through Rakyat Responz between May 2016, and Dec 31, 2018. Of the amount, 1,016 or 48.6% of the total complaints were made on local authorities, followed by the ministries and federal government agencies with 555 complaints.