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Kampung In Focus Surely we, the Rakyat, have the right to know what CIR reported to CEP

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Surely we, the Rakyat, have the right to know what CIR reported to CEP PDF Print E-mail
Written by Haris Ibrahim   
Monday, 27 August 2018 14:05

Surely we, the Rakyat, have the right to know what CIR reported to CEP

Posted on August 26, 2018

 

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The Committee on Institutional Reforms (CIR) submitted its report to the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) on 17th July, 2018 and a copy of the same to the PM on 19th July, 2018.


By its terms of reference, the CIR was to :

  • examine the present state of key institutions, identify their shortcomings and problem areas, their adequacy as checks and balances and their independence, and to make recommendations to the government through CEP for reforms of the various institutions. Also to make recommendations, if any, for further examinations in future in respect of any institutions
  • to study all legislation that violate fundamental liberties enshrined in the Federal Constitution and derogates from the Rule of Law, and thereafter to recommend the repeal or amendment of laws examined with a view to upholding constitutional rights and the Rule of Law

To this end, the CIR was to consult with any and all interested parties.

Malaysiakini reported on 17th July that in their report, the CIR had made recommendations in relation to 8 key institutions. These are :

  1. Parliament
  2. elections
  3. the judiciary
  4. law officers and legal service
  5. anti-corruption
  6. police and immigration
  7. communications media and information
  8. human rights institutions and law

The Malaysiakini report also quoted the CIR as saying that they had “made several immediate recommendations to the Council of Eminent Persons on matters which we considered to be urgent” and that there were also matters put before the CIR which Went beyond their terms of reference but required attention from the government and that these matters had, as such been referred to the “relevant government agencies for their action,”


For anyone who has been working to bring about reforms to the institutions and laws in our country, this is clearly a very, very important report.


On behalf of Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM) I had, on 24th May, 2018, sent to the CIR written representations in relation to an initiative called the Social Inclusion Agenda, by which we have proposed the establishment of an independent Social Inclusion Commission (SIC), as prescribed in the proposed legislation, to address the serious issues of poverty, inequality and marginalization in our society.


For those of you who are unfamiliar with the SABM initiative, you might want to read about its official launch HERE.

As the proposed SIC goes to the very heart of very serious problem of poverty, inequality and marginalization in our society, I hope you will understand why I am anxious to know if the CIR made any recommendations in relation thereto.


So what is to become of the CIR report?


What follows?


Malaysiakini reported on 14th August, 2018 that CIR members Mah Weng Kwai and Ambiga have urged that the report be made available to the public.


And the Borneo Post reports that MP Maria Chin Adullah asked in Parliament when the CIR report would be made available to MPs and members of the public?


The same Borneo Post report details minister in the PM’s Department,  Liew Vui Keong’s response.

“The decision to make this report known to the public will be made after the report is discussed in detail by the Cabinet in the near future”, Liew is reported to have said.


Are we to understand from this that it may well be that the government will decide not to make the report public?


If so, why?


I see the CIR as comprising leading members of civil society representing us, the rakyat, and not the government, in having embarked on a study of the institutions and laws that need reform, and have made recommendations as such.

For the voters who worked in the run up to the elections, and who voted for change and reform on polling day, and later did all that they possibly could to protect the votes at the tallying centres, have we no right to know what reforms have been proposed?


Why the secrecy?


And we are told that we are in a new “non-UMNO/BN” Malaysia?

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Last Updated on Monday, 27 August 2018 14:10
 

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