Home Coalitions Clean and Fair Elections Pemisahan kuasa peguam negara harus dipercepatkan (Malay/English)

Pemisahan kuasa peguam negara harus dipercepatkan (Malay/English)

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih) mengalu-alukan penubuhan pasukan petugas khas untuk mempercepatkan pemisahan peranan dan kuasa antara Jabatan Peguam Negara dan pendakwa raya oleh Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri (Undang-Undang dan Reformasi Institusi) Azalina Othman Said, serta prosiding yang dipanggil oleh William Leong, pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas parlimen Hak Asasi Manusia, Pilihan Raya dan Reformasi Institusi.

Pasukan ini yang diumumkan oleh menteri melibatkan pasukan kajian teknikal dan perbandingan untuk mempercepatkan pindaan perlembagaan dan undang-undang yang diperlukan bagi memisahkan peranan Jabatan Peguam Negara dan pendakwa raya, sementara prosiding jawatankuasa pilihan khas parlimen akan menyiasat dan memanggil peguam negara untuk menjelaskan penarikan pendakwaan terhadap Timbalan PM Zahid Hamidi dalam kes korupsi Yayasan Akalbudi, permohonan pembatalan rayuan terhadap mantan Perdana Menteri Najib Rayak dan bekas ketua pengarah eksekutif 1MDB Arul Kanda Kandasamy berkenaan penggubahan laporan audit 1MDB, dan pembatalan empat pertuduhan salah guna kuasa mantan Perdana Menteri Mahiaddin Yasin berkaitan program Jana Wibawa.

Namun, kami ingin mencabar Perdana Menteri Anwar Ibrahim untuk secara terbuka mengisytiharkan bahawa pasukan petugas khas mempunyai tempoh tidak lebih daripada satu tahun.

Kerajaan “Madani” yang dipimpin Perdana Menteri Anwar perlu menunjukkan iltizam politik dengan melaksanakan pemisahan peguam negara dan pendakwa raya sebelum hujung tahun 2024, yang bermaksud peruntukan kewangan yang sesuai perlu dimasukkan dalam Belanjawan 2025, yang kemungkinan akan dibentangkan pada Oktober 2024 – menjadikannya tarikh ini sebagai tarikh akhir.

Oleh itu, tempoh masa satu tahun pasukan petugas khas teknikal perlu dikurangkan kepada enam hingga lapan bulan untuk mempercepatkan pelaksanaan. Keenganan untuk memberikan tempoh yang jelas akan menghasilkan persepsi umum bahawa pasukan petugas ini hanya sekadar mengalihkan kemarahan orang ramai terhadap pelepasan tanpa pembebasan timbalan PM minggu lepas.

Kos kewangan untuk pemisahan peguam negara dan pendakwa raya tidak seharusnya dijadikan alasan untuk melambatkan proses kerana ketidakyakinan umum terhadap proses kehakiman, kerajaan dan sistem politik adalah jauh lebih mahal. Kami terbuka untuk bekerjasama dengan kedua-dua pasukan petugas khas dan prosiding serta membantu untuk memberikan dapatan kami dan berkongsi amalan terbaik.

Pasukan petugas khas untuk kajian menyeluruh ini perlu melibatkan wakil daripada pertubuhan masyarakat sivil termasuklah Majlis Peguam dan ahli akademik yang pakar undang-undang seperti profesor emeritus Shad Faruqi dan Andrew Yong. Bersih sebelum ini telah menghasilkan kajian berkenaan pemisahan peguam negara dan pendakwa raya yang ditulis oleh pakar undang-undang. Hasil laporan kajian tersebut, Bersih mengesyorkan beberapa perkara berikut bagi memisahkan peguam negara dan pendakwa raya:

• Bagi mencegah pendakwaan jenayah daripada pengaruh politik atau pengaruh lain, pendakwa raya perlu terdiri daripada pegawai berperlembagaan yang terpisah daripada peguam negara. Memandangkan peguam negara sebagai lantikan politik tanpa tempoh perkhidmatan tertentu, beliau tidak boleh memegang pejabat pendakwa raya dan menjadi ahli mana-mana suruhanjaya perkhidmatan. Kuasa beliau hanya dalam ruang lingkup Jabatan Peguam Negara dan tidak menjangkau perkhidmatan undang-undang yang lain

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• Tidak perlu ada perubahan besar dalam peruntukan untuk pemilihan dan tempoh perkhidmatan peguam negara. Perdana menteri perlu ada keanjalan untuk memilih calon terbaik jawatan peguam negara dan jawatan menteri undang-undang atau keadilan, dan sepatutnya boleh menggabungkan kedua-dua jawatan tersebut dalam satu individu, jika beliau rasakan sesuai. Namun demikian, Parlimen perlu ada hak untuk meminta PM menghantar nasihat beliau bagi mendapatkan kelulusan jawatankuasa parlimen

• Sama ada peguam negara menjadi ahli kabinet atau perundangan atau tidak, beliau perlu menghadiri kabinet sebagai rutin, dan perlu ada hak seperti menteri kabinet, untuk menyertai sebagai ex officio dalam prosiding kedua-dua dewan Parlimen. Jika beliau dilantik menjadi menteri undang-undang atau keadilan, maka beliau sudah tentu ahli salah satu dewan tersebut

• Pendakwa raya perlu dilantik oleh Agong berdasarkan cadangan daripada suruhanjaya perkhidmatan yang sesuai, yang mungkin selepas mempertimbangkan nasihat PM yang dikembalikan, sekurangnya sekali, kepada suruhanjaya untuk pertimbangan. Parlimen perlu ada hak untuk meminta PM, sebelum menasihati Agong, menyerahkan nasihat beliau untuk kelulusan jawatankuasa parlimen

• Pendakwa raya perlu dilantik untuk penggal tunggal selama lapan tahun, tertakluk kepada usia persaraan maksimum dan dengan tempoh perkhidmatan yang sama seperti hakim Mahkamah Persekutuan

• Parlimen, dalam menjalankan bidang kuasa perundangannya ke atas undang-undang dan prosedur jenayah, perlu mempunyai kuasa untuk meminta pendakwa raya berunding dengan peguam negara dalam kes tertentu, tetapi tidak perlu meminta peguam raya untuk bertindak tertakluk kepada persetujuan atau di bawah arahan atau kawalan mana-mana pihak. Pendakwa raya perlu sebaliknya menyerahkan laporan tahunan kepada Parlimen dan hadir dalam prosiding jawatankuasa parlimen apabila perlu untuk menjawab soalan atau memberikan bukti

• Parlimen perlu mempunyai kuasa untuk membenarkan agensi pakar (seperti Suruhanjaya Pencegah Rasuah Malaysia, Suruhanjaya Sekuriti dan pihak berkuasa tempatan) untuk memulakan dan menjalankan pendakwaan bagi kesalahan khusus dalam bidang kuasa mereka, namun pendakwa raya perlu ada kuasa, dengan keizinan mahkamah atau agensi terbabit, untuk mengambil alih sebarang pendakwaan.

Kami mendoakan pasukan petugas khas dan jawatankuasa pilihan khas selamat bertugas dalam rangka mempercepatkan isu yang mustahak ini. Kepercayaan rakyat kepada kerajaan Madani dan institusi awam kita bagai telur di hujung tanduk. Akhir kalam, kami ingin bertanya kepada perdana menteri: adakah saudara beriltizam untuk melaksanakan perkara ini sebelum Oktober 2024? – Bersih

English version

Minister’s taskforce and select committee proceedings on attorney general’s separation are welcome moves, but PM must declare timeline for separation by 2025

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (Bersih) welcomes the establishment of two taskforces to expedite the separation of the roles and powers of the attorney general and public prosecutor by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Azalina Othman Said, as well as the proceedings called by William Leong, chairperson of the parliamentary Special Select Committee on Human Rights, Election and Institutional Reform.

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The two taskforces announced by the minister comprise both technical and comparative study taskforces to expedite the constitutional and legal amendments required to separate the attorney general and the public prosecutor, while the parliamentary special select committee proceedings will investigate and call upon the attorney general to explain the withdrawal of charges against Deputy PM Zahid Hamidi in the Yayasan Akalbudi corruption case, the dismissal of the appeal against former Prime Minister Najib Razak and former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy over alleged tampering of the 1MDB audit report, and the acquittal of former Prime Minister Mahiaddin Yasin over four charges of abuse of power linked to the Jana Wibawa programme.

Nonetheless, we would like to throw the gauntlet on Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to publicly declare a timeline for the separation of the attorney general and public prosecutor.

The “Madani” (Civil Malaysia) government led by Prime Minister Anwar ought to demonstrate its political will by committing to implementing the separation of the attorney general and public prosecutor ideally by 2025, which means the appropriate financial allocations must be budgeted for in Budget 2025, which is likely to be tabled in October 2024 – effectively making this the deadline if the government is serious in implementing the separation in two years or less.

As such, the technical taskforce’s one-year timeframe must be reduced to six to eight months accordingly to expedite the implementation. A refusal to provide a clear deadline will create a public perception that the taskforces are mere diversions to fend off public anger over the “discharge not amounting to an acquittal” granted to Zahid Hamidi last week.

The financial cost of the separation of the attorney general and public prosecutor must not be used as an excuse to delay the process as the public distrust of the judicial process, the government and the political system would be much more expensive.

We are open to working with both the taskforces and the proceedings, and assist in providing our input and sharing best practices. The taskforce on the comprehensive study should include representatives from civil society, including the Bar Council and academic legal experts. Bersih has previously commissioned a study on the separation of the attorney general and public prosecutor, and the resultant report published by Bersih recommended the following on the separation of the attorney general and public prosecutor:

● In order to shield criminal prosecutions from political influence or other interference, the public prosecutor should be a constitutional officer separate from the attorney general. As the attorney general is a political appointee without security of tenure, he should cease to hold the office of public prosecutor and to be a member of any service commission. His authority should extend only to the federal Attorney General’s Chambers and not to the rest of the legal service

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● There should be no major changes to the current provisions for the selection and tenure of the attorney general. The PM should have the flexibility to choose the best candidates for the office of attorney general and for the position of law or justice minister, and should be able to combine both positions in one individual, as he may judge appropriate. However, Parliament should have the right to require the PM to submit his advice for the approval of a parliamentary committee

● Whether or not the attorney general is a member of the cabinet or of the legislature, he should attend cabinet meetings on a regular basis, and should also have the right, like a cabinet minister, to participate ex officio in the proceedings of both houses of Parliament. If, however, the attorney general is appointed law or justice minister, then he must be a member of one or other house

● The public prosecutor should be appointed by the Agong upon the recommendation of the appropriate Service Commission, which may after considering the advice of the PM be returned to the commission once for reconsideration. Parliament should have the right to require the PM, before advising the Agong, to submit his advice for the approval of a parliamentary committee

● The public prosecutor should be appointed for a single term of eight years, subject to the same maximum retirement age, and with the same security of tenure, as a Federal Court judge

● Parliament, in the exercise of its legislative jurisdiction over criminal law and criminal procedure, should have the power to require the public prosecutor to consult with the attorney general in particular cases, but must not require the public prosecutor to act subject to the consent or under the direction or control of any person. The public prosecutor should, however, submit an annual report to Parliament and appear in person before parliamentary committees whenever required to answer questions or to give evidence

● Parliament should have the power to authorise specialist agencies (eg, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Securities Commission and local authorities) to initiate and conduct prosecutions for specific offences within their remit, but the public prosecutor should have power, with the permission of the court or of the agency concerned, to take over any prosecution.

We wish the taskforce and the parliamentary special select committee well in their duties to expedite this important matter. The people’s trust in the Madani government and our public institutions hang in the balance. Lastly, we ask the prime minister: what is your timeline to implement the separation of the attorney general and public prosecutor? – Bersih

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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