Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) is strongly backing the suggestion by Dewan Negara president Rais Yatim for the MACC to be placed under the direct supervision of Parliament.
TI-M president Muhammad Mohan said in doing so, it would also allow Parliament to appoint the graft buster's chief commissioner.
"This move will definitely put the MACC in a strong position to perform its task independently, without fear or favour and without any interference from the power and influence of the executive.
"Such reforms logically should also provide for the appointment of the chief commissioner to be the prerogative of Parliament after getting recommendations from a parliamentary select committee on qualified candidates.
"This is in contrast to Section 5 of the MACC Act 2009 which states that the chief commissioner is appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the prime minister," he said in a statement today.
Muhammad (above) said that this would be part of institutional reforms that the corruption watchdog itself had been advocating in the past.
The independence of the MACC can be compromised if the chief commissioner’s job is at the mercy of the prime minister, he added.
"Furthermore, the tenure of the office of the chief commissioner should be fixed and he or she should not be removed even if there is a change of government.
"Also, like for judges, any removal during the tenure of the chief commissioner should only be on specified grounds and presided by a special tribunal," Muhammad suggested.
Earlier, Rais had said that a proposal to place the MACC under Parliament is being studied.
He said this in his capacity as Special Committee on Corruption (JKMR) chairperson, adding that the proposal was being given special consideration by JKMR because, if accepted, it could further increase the community's level of trust and confidence in the MACC.
"I am motivated to help so that MACC is placed under Parliament. We will give special consideration to realise this objective.
"This is because if MACC is too exposed to the power and influence of the executive or parties not related to integrity, over time MACC will be influenced by politics and outside influences," Rais told reporters after attending a briefing session with MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki at the MACC headquarters last Saturday.
JKMR was established legally in accordance with Section 14 of the MACC Act 2009 (Act 694) and is responsible for advising the prime minister on any aspect of corruption as well as examining MACC's annual report.
Muhammad said that while such institutional reform needs various amendments to be made to the Constitution, given that the evil of corruption still plagues the nation, TI-M together with many others feel it is necessary.
"This would elevate the MACC to be a commission not under an Act but rather, a commission under our supreme law, the Federal Constitution, and answerable to our Parliament and not to the vicissitudes of the executive.
"This reform needs bipartisan political support, but which political party is going to deny this reform is a good one to help save the nation from this evil of corruption that is destroying our nation?
"TI-M calls on everyone to support this move and to make this happen as soon as possible as time is running out in our fight to rid the country of corruption," Muhammad added.