PM to chair long-neglected anti-graft meeting tomorrow

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad being greeted by officials as he arrives at the treasury today. Dr Mahathir will be chairing a meeting of the Special Cabinet Committee on Government Management Integrity tomorrow. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, June 7, 2018.

PRIME Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be chairing a meeting of the Special Cabinet Committee on Government Management Integrity tomorrow.

It is learned that the special committee has not met for a number of years under the previous Najib Razak administration.

The committee’s responsibilities include monitoring competency, discipline in the administration and the public service to ensure integrity, among others.

It is also tasked with overcoming problems and weaknesses in government financial management, and tackle power abuse and misappropriation, which are ironically issues that plagued the previous Barisan Nasional administration that has since paid dearly for it at the May 9 polls.

“The prime minister was shocked when he was informed that the special committee had not called a meeting for some time.

“He immediately asked for a meeting date to be set within the week,” a source with knowledge of the meeting tomorrow told The Malaysian Insight.

The meeting is set to be held at 10am tomorrow in Putrajaya and Dr Mahathir is scheduled to call a press conference after that.

The Malaysian Insight understands that Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng dan Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu will also be attending the meeting.

Another whose presence is expected is former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed. The graft buster was recently recruited by the Pakatan Harapan administration to head a new agency to fight corruption and boost integrity.

“The meeting tomorrow will confirm the form and duties of the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC),” another source said.

It is expected that the meeting will decide the role and jurisdiction of the new body and others involved in fighting corruption and building integrity.

In a statement last week, the Prime Minister’s Office said the GIACC would be planning, drawing up strategies and assessing polities to ensure all government businesses are clean and free of corruption.

The statement also mentioned the forming of the special committee would be replaced by an anti-graft special cabinet committee.

Previously, it was announced that the early duties of GIACC would be to make sure the 21 pledges in the PH election manifesto dealing with management, integrity and anti-corruption would be implemented in stages.

The pledges included one that made it compulsory for all elected reps, senators and Jusa C civil servants to declare their assets.

There were also promises to review and improve several laws like the Official Secrets Act, the Witness Protection Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act; as well as introducing the Freedom of Information Act.

The PH government is also planning to introduce a Political Funding Control Act to ensure the funding of political parties would be transparent and independent to prevent cases of dubious donations going into the personal accounts of politicians and not parties.

In the run up to the 2013 general election, former prime minister Najib Razak received RM2.6 billion in his personal account. He claimed the money was a donation from the Saudi Arabian royal family. – June 7, 2018.

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